KUALA LUMPUR •A tourism tax will be officially enforced in Malaysia on Sept 1, Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz said yesterday.
Foreign tourists will be charged a flat rate of RM10 (S$3.20) per room per night at all hotels. Malaysians and permanent residents will be exempted from the tax.
The tax will not apply to home- stays and kampung stays registered with the ministry, premises maintained by religious institutions for non-commercial purposes, premises operated by the federal and state governments for non-commercial purposes, and premises with fewer than four rooms.
Datuk Seri Nazri said Malaysia expects to collect about RM210 million in tourism tax revenue annually. The funds will be spent on promoting Malaysia overseas and on maintaining tourism facilities.
So far, 3,200 providers of accommodation have registered with the Finance Ministry for the tourism tax, the minister said.
The tax was initially announced in June with a staggered rate of between RM2 and RM20 per night depending on the star rating of the hotel. It was also originally meant to be levied on all hotel guests, Malaysians and foreign tourists alike.
But that proposal was shot down after protests from the tourism industry and Malaysians.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK