Malaysians exempted from Tourism Tax

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 26, 2017

"We will impose a RM10 flat rate from five-star to zero-star hotels for foreign tourists, and Malaysians will be exempted from the tax across all classifications of hotels", he said in Parliament on Wednesday.

Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz said although the tax will not be applicable to Malaysians, foreigners will still have to pay a flat fee of RM10 per room per night, regardless of the star rating of a hotel.

"The tourism tax that is to be implemented soon will not have any major (negative) impact on tourist inflows considering the ringgit is low at the moment compared to the U.S. or Singaporean currencies", he said.

This led to concerns from various industry players on the impact of this tax on domestic tourism, after which the government said locals staying at hotels rated three stars and below will be exempted from the tax.

Responding to oral questions regarding the tax in Parliament, Nazri noted RM1 from the rate would be returned to the respective tourism division in the states that would aid their marketing activities and upgrade facilities.

Nazri said that tourism sectors in countries that imposed tax on visitors actually recorded healthy growth.

On April 6, the Tourism Tax Bill 2017 was passed by the Dewan Rakyat.

As for foreign tourists, the RM10 rate at all hotels was chose to simplify the collection mechanism for the Royal Customs and Excise Department, he added.

"This tax will be counted based on the number of night's stay and the number of rooms used, and not on the number of persons staying".

It was supposed to be implemented on August 1 but postponed after receiving objection from Sabah and Sarawak.

Nazri added that homestays registered with Tourism Malaysia would also be exempted. "The Prime Minister will make the announcement soon", he said.

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