The Malaysian parliament has passed a tourism tax law that some say could harm hotel operators in the country. However, other analysts say the impact of the new tax will be minimal.
The tourism tax law allows the Malaysian government to impose a tourism tax on a hotel stay at a rate set by The Tourism and Culture Minister. According to media reports, the amount of the tax would vary depending on the star rating and occupancy rate of the hotel. The tax would provide a sustainable fund for the development of Malaysia’s tourism industry, according to government officials.
It’s not certain when the tax would take effect and concern has arisen that the levy creates an uneven playing field between licensed and unlicensed hotel operators.
Of particular concern is Genting Malaysia which has been investing heavily in a revamp of its Resorts World Genting casino complex, Malaysia’s only casino resort. The company currently operates seven hotels in Malaysia, with more than 10,000 rooms in total. The firm also runs casinos in the United States, the Bahamas and the United Kingdom.