Johor plans to make it mandatory to hire a mountain guide for rock climbing activities

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The Johor Forestry Department (JPNJ) plans to make it compulsory for all climbing activities in the State’s Permanent Forest Reserves (HSK) to use mountain guide services from January next year. .

JPNJ director Datuk Salim Aman said the initiative aims to ensure that all ecotourism activities are carried out safely and in accordance with standard operating procedures established by the authorities.

“These mountain guides not only show direction, but also help with obtaining permits and other matters at police stations, as well as taking climbers up and down hills in an orderly fashion. We want to make sure the climb is well managed.

“We will hold discussions with the state government to determine which areas need this service, but to start we recommend in HSK areas,” he told reporters recently at an event in Johor. .

Salim said JPNJ would also discuss with the state government to set the fee for the service based on the packages taken by climbers or tourists.

He added that to date, a total of 180 mountain guides have been officially certified as guides for rock climbing activities in the state.

Tax issues

Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) is urging Online Travel Agencies or OTAs that operate overseas to register their businesses under the Tour Operating Business and Travel Agency category. Business (TOBTAB) so that it can impose corporate taxes.

Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said most of these overseas OTAs do not have premises or offices in Malaysia, which makes it difficult for the ministry to impose legal or coercive measures on them.

“Most of these online businesses are not registered with the ministry. We tried to talk to them – some registered with the ministry because they were asked to physically settle in our country.

“We urge others to register with us so that we can impose taxes on them,” she said during a recent session at Dewan Rakyat.

Nancy said this in response to a question from Datuk Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (PH-Hulu Langat) who wanted to know what types of taxes might be imposed on OTAs offering tour packages in Malaysia but operating overseas.

According to Nancy, Motac had held engagement sessions with several international OTAs to ensure they complied with the Tourism Industry Act 1992 (Act 482) and to urge them to register under TOBTAB.

She said that as a result, foreign OTAs have opened branches in the country and obtained a license from Motac, such as Klook Travel Technology, Traveloka and BEX Travel Malaysia. – Bernama

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