Tourism Tax Bill to exclude home and kampung stays

BANGKOK: The Tourism Tax Bill 2017 which was recently passed in Parliament will exclude accommodations such as homestays, kampung stays and pusat latihan asrama (boarding schools), said Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

The new Bill will see tourists paying a levy to the operators of accommodation premises.

She said the rates are RM20 for a five-star accommodation, RM10 (four-star), RM5 (one- to three-star) and RM2.50 for non-rated accommodations, including bud­get hotels.

Mas Ermieyati reiterated that the rates are not per head but on a per-room and per-night basis.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit 2017 to the Malaysian media here yesterday.

Mas Ermieyati did not say when the Bill would be implemented but said hopefully by this year, adding that it was currently being debated in Dewan Negara.

She added that it was time Malaysia implemented the tax, adding that it has been long implemented by other countries, some of which have a higher tax than Malaysia.

On tourism, Mas Ermieyati said they expected some 32.2 million visitors to Malaysia this year.

Last year, the country hosted 31 million visitors.

She highlighted the importance of the travel and tourism industry, adding that Malaysia should model itself after other successful countries such as Thailand.