GEORGE TOWN - The Penang state government is planning a RM2 (S$0.78) levy for each night's stay in a one- to three-star lodging while RM5 will be charged for each night's stay in four-star and above hotels.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government was planning to organise Visit Penang Year from 2015 to 2017 so it needed strategic planning as well as a huge investment on basic infrastructure "to create new products, events and experience that will last a lifetime".
"All the money collected will go towards funding the state's tourism development," said Lim when tabling the 2014 state budget at the state assembly sitting here Friday.
The levy is expected to be imposed from March.
The state, said Lim, could not continue funding tourism activities due to insufficient funds.
He said a special commission, comprising representatives from the hotel industry and the state government, would be formed to discuss how the levy money would be spent.
This, said Lim, would ensure "efficient as well as constructive use of the money".
However, when contacted, several hotel industry players expressed surprise over the move.
A senior manager, who declined to be named, queried the state's plan for the money.