There may be some good news yet for locals regarding the new tourism tax.
Locals may be exempted from paying the new tourism tax if they stay in three-star hotels and below.
“We are studying this and will be making an announcement soon,” said Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah yesterday.
He said that collection of the tourism tax would be handled by the Customs Department, which has a system in place with regard to the classification of hotels.
The tourism tax kicks off on Jul 1, with hotel guests charged between RM2.50 and RM20 for overnight stays depending on the type of hotel.
Charged on a per-room, per-night basis, the tax is RM2.50 for non-rated hotels, RM5 for two-star, RM10 for three-star, RM15 for four-star, and RM20 for five-star hotels.
The tax is expected to bring in RM654.62mil, assuming a 60 percent occupancy rate at over 11 million hotel rooms in the country.
According to Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the revenue collected would be used to promote Malaysia overseas and refurbish tourism facilities.