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How Malaysia's New Tourism Tax Will Affect Your Travel Plans
The new tourism tax went into affect this month and your vacation plans might be negatively affected. How? Read on to find out.

The government recently announced a new tourism tax that took effect on July 1, 2017. This means, any Malaysian or foreigner that opt for a hotel accommodation are now subject to additional tax, on top of the current Goods and Services Tax (GST). 

[Image: hotel-bedroom-with-wine-glass-in-the-for...463521.jpg]

A report by the Star stated that the new tourism tax will generate an income of RM654.62mil for the country even if hotel occupancy throughout the country is only at 60 percent. The additional income is going to be used for improving facilities in order to enhance the experience in the country as well as promoting Malaysia overseas.

How Much More Does This Cost?

According to FMT, there is now a fixed rate applied on a daily basis, depending on the type of accommodation you choose. The table below shows the breakdown of tax that you can expect to be charged for the accommodation that you pick for your next trip. 

Type of Accommodation
Tax Rate per Night (in RM)Non-rated Hotels RM2.50
Two Star Hotels RM5.00
Three Star Hotels RM10.00
Four Star Hotels RM15.00
Five Star Hotels RM20.00

In other words, if you intend to stay in a three-star hotel for seven nights, you’re now charged an additional RM10 for each day adding RM70 to your original cost. If you are going with a family of four and booked two rooms for seven nights, you can expect to pay RM70 for each room, bringing your grand total of tourism tax to RM140. Despite it being called a tourism tax, business trips will not see any exemption from the fore mentioned tax making travelling cost even higher than before.

How to Save on Tourism Tax

The new policy does provide an exemption for small hotels with less than 10 rooms or privately operated homestay units. In order to save some money, you can book yourself a comfortable accommodation on platforms like Airbnb and save up to RM20 per day. 

[Image: hotel-poolside-with-orange-recliners-tou...456576.jpg]

How to Get More Value From Your Trip

If you do not feel like contributing toward the tourism tax in Malaysia and find Airbnb not to your liking, you could always pick out a cheap flight and enjoy a holiday outside the country. 
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