The Malaysian parliament on April 6 passed a Tourism Tax Bill levied on tourists at any accommodations and hotels made available by an operator at the rate fixed by the minister in accordance with the law. This is the 2nd country after Iceland in a week to increase taxes on tourists.
All tourists to the country are bound by the duty to pay the Tourism Tax to the operator of the accommodation premises.
In an interview by Bernama, the Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri said that “the Tourism Tax would be collected from all types of premises used as accommodation for tourists, except homestay and Kampung Stay registered under the ministry, premises managed by institutions (education), premises used for training purposes and religious institutions where such facilities are not used for commercial purposes.”
He also added that the Tourism Tax collected can “provide a sustainable fund to develop the tourism industry and ensure tourism becomes even more competitive.”
President of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Mr Cheah Swee Hee, expressed his concerns that the tax could create an uneven playing field between the licensed and unlicensed hotel operators.
“The new tax may drive local and foreign tourists into seeking accommodation at places such as Airbnb and unlicensed hotels,” he said, adding that these were not regulated by the law.”
While Ann and I have always been to Malaysia for our quick getaways, we are not sure how this tax is going to affect us and our wallets. The only way to circumvent this law is probably to book our accommodations via Airbnb or crash at our Malaysian pals homes. 🙂
What do you guys think of the law? Is it a progressive tax or a regressive one?
Share us your thoughts.