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Malaysian theme parks call for removal of entertainment tax

Malaysian theme parks call for removal of entertainment tax
September 24, 2020

Malaysia’s theme park operators, seen as being among one of the country’s industry sectors most adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, are appealing for the abolition of the nation’s 25% entertainment tax.

As reported by The Malaysian Reserve, Malaysian Association of Amusement Theme Park and Family Attractions (MAATFA) President, Tan Sri Richard CK Koh said if the appeal is not considered, the theme park and attractions industry will not survive another year.

Koh told The Malaysian Reserve that abolishing the tax “will hopefully encourage the middle- and lower-class families to come to our parks as they may then afford the tickets.”

To address the new norms and challenges faced by the industry, he said the association is increasing the play and service value for visitors by also offering aggressive discounts, adding “we will be offering good quality foods and services for in-park spending, good discounted advance ticket purchases to boost cashflow, reliance on domestic travellers especially families and deal-seekers, and immediate improvements on customer experience as a whole.”

He also said while the recovery of domestic tourism has been encouraging, attendance still falls short from the target as not all locals are comfortable enough to begin their travels.

Sri noted “there are outdoor parks performing better against last year, in terms of attendance, but still suffer from lower per capita spending across the board, while the same cannot be said for indoor attractions as sentiments are softer.

“However, all attractions would still be subjected to weekend and holiday attendance as weekday reliance on groups, especially school groups, is yet to recover.”

Similarly, indoor attractions are also not as well attended versus outdoor theme parks.

Last month, an indoor adventure theme park was also opened at the Paradigm Mall after one year of development and six months of physical building work by Dubai-based theme park developer Sim Leisure Group.

Currently offering 12 attractions it will expand further within the next two years.

Images: The 1140-metre waterslide at ESCAPE Penang (top) and the Jengka Wonderland waterpark (below).

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