Via News.com.au : TRAVELLING to Malaysia is about to get more expensive thanks to a new tourist tax which comes into effect in August.
The tax, to be implemented on August 1, will be in the form of an extra charge on hotel and hostel accommodation, according to the announcement this week by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.
The cost will be set at a fixed rate and will depend on the level of accommodation.
Tourists staying in non-rated accommodation will be charged an extra RM2.50 ($0.80) per room per night; tourists booking stays in one, two and three star hotels will have to pay an extra RM5 ($1.55) per room per night; four star hotel guests will be charged RM10 ($3.10) and those booking five-star accommodation will have to pay an extra RM20 ($6.20) per room per night.
This is on top of a 6 per cent GST.
The tax will be imposed on all visitors — both foreign tourists and Malaysian nationals — staying in accommodation for either leisure, religious, holiday or business purposes.
Accommodation includes any premise registered by the Commissioner under the Tourism Industry Act 1992. This includes hotels, hostels, inns, and boarding houses.
However, it will not apply to homestays, premises maintained by religious institutions for non-commercial purposes, and premises with fewer than 10 rooms.
According to the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, the revenue earned from the tourism tax will “enhance” the experience for visitors to Malaysia.
“The returns will be used to develop the tourism industry, namely the enhancement of tourism infrastructure and facilities, as well as tourism promotional activities and campaigns for the country,” the department said on its website.
It will also be used to “protect, preserve and conserve” Malaysia’s environment, culture and heritage.