KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A tourism tax will be officially enforced in Malaysia on Sept 1, Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz said on Tuesday (Aug 8).
Foreign tourists will be charged a flat rate of RM10 (S$3.20) per room per night for all hotel classifications. Malaysians and permanent residents will be exempted.
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 federal and state governments for non-commercial purposes, and premises with fewer than four rooms.
Datuk Seri Nazri said that Malaysia is projected to collect about RM210 million in tourism tax revenue annually.
He announced the official date of implementation for the tax at the Malaysian Tourism Centre (Matic).
So far 3,200 providers of accommodation have registered with the Finance Ministry for the Tourism Tax, the minister said.
Accommodation operators can register online via www.myttx.customs.gov.my commencing 4pm on Aug 8. Those with queries about the tax system can contact the Customs Department at 1-300-888-500.
The tax was initially announced in June with a rate of between RM2 and RM20 per night depending on the type of hotel accommodation, and both Malaysians and foreign tourists would be affected.
But that decision was greeted with a howl of protest from the tourism industry and many Malaysians.