KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Budget hotel operators in Melaka have complained about being forced to absorb the RM10 tourism tax due to foreign tourists refusing to pay it.
Melaka Budget Hotel Association chairman Goh Hock Gin told New Straits Times (NST) that some foreigners have caused a scene at hotel registration counters over the RM10 nightly fee.
“Some customers who had pre-booked with us simply walked off, although we had reserved rooms for them.
“Some even made a lot of fuss at the counter and to avoid the ugly scene, we had no choice but to absorb the cost,” he was quoted saying.
Goh said the implementation of the federal tourism tax, which took effect on September 1, had the biggest impact on budget hotels.
“If the room rate is RM50 per night, an additional RM10 would be an adjustment of a 20 per cent increase. This is a lot for budget travellers.
“Some of our room rates are as low as RM40 per night. Those who can afford to stay in four-star or five-star hotels will not have a problem with forking out an additional RM10, but this is not the case with budget travellers,” 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.