Local Malaysians to be fully exempted from tourism tax during travel

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has announced that Malaysians are fully exempted from the Tourism Tax (TTx), which is expected to be implemented on 1 August 2017.

However, foreign tourists will be charged a flat fee of RM10 per night and per room from five-star to zero-star hotels, according to The Star.

This comes after the Ministry of Finance announced plans to exempt locals from forking out the TTX at three-star hotels and budget accommodations in June.

Imposed by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD), the TTx will be regulated by the Ministry of Finance and the RMCD. Profit obtained from TTx will be used to develop the tourism industry, specifically the enhancement of tourism infrastructure and facilities, as well as campaigns and promotional activities.

According to the RMCD’s website, the tax rates per night are RM2.50 for an “unrated” room; RM5 for a one to three-star hotel room; RM10 for a four-star hotel room; and RM20 for a five-star hotel room. The tax applies to all guests, regardless of their nationality or purpose of travel such as holiday, business and studies.

Premises exempted from the TTx are homestay and “Kampungstay” registered with the government; properties offering accommodation with fewer than 10 rooms; and rooms maintained for non-commercial purposes by religious institutions, governments and statutory bodies.

The Tourism Tax Bill was passed by the Malaysian parliament in April 2017.