Tourism Tax – 1st July 2017

photo tourism tax malaysia

Hotel Rates across Malaysia  will increase from 1st July 2017.  A New Tourism Tax will be implemented on all accommodations registered with the Malaysian Government. The amount will depend on the type of accommodation that you stay.

  • Five-star accommodations - RM $20 ( SG$ 6.66).
  • Four-star - Rm$ 10 (SG$ 3.33).
  • One-to-Three star - Rm $5 (SG$ 1.67).
  • No Star Rating - Rm $2.50 (SG$ 0.83).

This tax is targeted at both International and Domestic Tourist, i.e. local Malaysian. So dear fellow Singaporean, please don't feel victimize, at at least the exchange rate is in our favor. However, I do pity the locals as it will  be an extra burden for those who have to travel out of town for purpose other then tourism such as studies, medical treatments and family obligations.


Photo Renaissance Hotel , Permas Jaya, Johor Bahru

Renaissance Hotel , Permas Jaya, Johor Bahru

However there are accommodations that are EXEMPTED from the tourism tax:

  • Homestays and Kampung stays.
  • Non-commercial premises maintained by religious and educational institutions.
  • Accommodations with less than 10 rooms.

So if you were to put up in an AirBNB accommodations or an unregistered accommodation you may skip the tax.  According to Malaysian Association  of Hotels president Cheah Swee Heng, less than 15% of accommodation providers in Malaysia are registered with the Government. So fellow Singaporean, you have a greater than 8.5 out of 10 chance of not paying tax. If you include  AirBNB , the probability jump up even more.


photo thistle hotel johor bahru

Thistle Hotel, Johor Bahru

The Tourism Tax rates are not per head but on a per-room and per-night basis. If  you are thinking of sneaking in a few more people to a double room to save cost, well, that's up to you but It will tarnish the image of Singaporeans abroad. Furthermore the tax won't cost you an arm and a leg. I wouldn't mind paying for the tourism tax after all "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.” according Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Have a great stay in Malaysia.

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