(File pix) Tourism and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (second from left) at the My Kampung Tourism – Jom Pakat Mai Langkawi event held at Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi, Kedah last night. Pix by Hamzah Osman

LANGKAWI: The Tourism and Culture Ministry will return half of the RM2 million in tourism tax collected in the state last year to Kedah for tourism projects.

“The ministry collected RM56 million in tourism tax from hotel operators nationwide,” said its minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, after opening the My Kampung Tourism – Jom Pakat Mai Langkawi in Tanjung Rhu here last night.

“Kedah contributed RM2 million. We will return RM1 million to the state.

“We will give half to mainland Kedah and half to Langkawi.

“The money can be used for various programmes, including small projects for tourism activities.”

Nazri said it was fair to give half of the amount to Langkawi because most of the tourism tax was collected from the island’s hotels.

The tourism tax came into force on Sept 1, last year.

Malaysians and permanent residents are exempted.

Foreign tourists are charged RM10 per room per night.

In the first four months of this year, Nazri said the government had collected RM486,000 in tourism tax.

Present was the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah.

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