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Malaysia changes new tourism tax

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Flat rate per night, per room on hotel stays
The Malaysian government has reviewed a controversial tourism tax by changing it to a RM10 (€2) flat rate per night, per room on foreign tourists staying at hotels, down from the proposed RM20, while Malaysians are exempted from paying the tax at all.
This is a change from earlier plans where locals were exempted from the tax at three-star hotels or lower. Travel agents in Malaysia welcomed the change.
“The exemption for all Malaysians will stabilise domestic tourism as well as provide relief for essential travel such as travelling within the country for business purposes, medical, religious and educational purposes,” said KL Tan, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents’ newly elected president.
“Reducing the tax from RM20 to RM10 per night, per room for five- and four- star hotels will minimise adverse impact on the high-end industry. However, we need to review the lower-class category providers, as the increase may be 5% to 30% of the room rate.”
Some of the funds collected from the tax will be spent on tourism infrastructure development. The implementation date, which was previously August 1, will now be decided by the prime minister.
TTG Asia

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