KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 ― Some 5,000 hotels out of an estimated 10,000 nationwide have begun claiming the RM10 nightly fee from foreign tourists lodging at their premises following the enforcement of the federal tourism tax yesterday.
“Not all hotel operators are ready. We will do it manually until the system is ready,” Malaysian Association of Hotels president Sam Cheah Swee Hee told The Star daily.
He was also reported promising that the collection will be submitted to the Customs and Excise Department by next month.
John Teo Peng Yew, honorary secretary-general of the association’s Sarawak chapter was also reported saying that there will be “no exemption for long stay, complimentary stay such as timeshare or loyalty programme and such tax shall be free of GST”.
The same report also cited the Customs director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy saying the government won’t be “harsh” against hoteliers who have yet to register their businesses with the department.
“We are giving hotel operators another month. We expect all to register with us by the end of September,” he was quoted saying.
The tourism tax introduced this year was initially planned for roll out from August 1 and taxation was originally meant to cover Malaysians staying at hotels as well.
The scheme was later reviewed, delayed and changed to only foreign tourists at a flat charge of RM10 a night following public uproar.