Malaysia to begin tourism tax on Aug 1

The storefront of department store Parkson KLCC in Kuala Lumpur.
The storefront of department store Parkson KLCC in Kuala Lumpur.PHOTO: PARKSON RETAIL ASIA

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia will begin a tourism tax on Aug 1, the Customs Department announced on Tuesday (June 6).

The tax will see tourists paying a levy to operators of all types of accommodation premises. It will be imposed on both Malaysians and foreigners regardless of whether they are on a leisure or business trip, the New Straits Times reported.

Accommodations such as homestays and kampung stays, premises that are maintained by religious institutions not for commercial purposes, and accommodation premises with fewer than 10 rooms are exempted.

The rates are fixed at RM20 (S$6.50) for five-star accommodations, RM10 for four-star accommodations, RM5 for one- to three-star accommodations and RM2.50 for non-rated accommodations.

It will be imposed on top of the goods and services tax and service charge.

The move comes after the Tourism Tax Bill was passed in Parliament in April.

Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz had said that the potential revenue from the new tax would be around RM654 million, if an occupancy rate of 60 per cent could be achieved for the 11 million "room nights" available in the country.