About The Blogger

My name is Tammy Lim and I am an award winning blogger from Top 10 Malaysia Magazine and Cleo Malaysia Magazine. I have been blogging since 2008 and I am also the founder of a local Malaysian beauty & lifestyle community called The Butterfly Project. People often tell me that I'm a wonder woman, but in reality - if it's something you love, you can do wonders.

When I'm not wondering, I'll be on my computer searching for the next fountain of youth or hunting down a fantastic deal. I'm also a shopaholic, wanderluster, spa enthusiast and proud hipster who loves planning special occasions and surprises for her loved ones.
  • Top 10 Female Bloggers in Malaysia Award
  • Cleo's Next Top Blogger Malaysia Award
  • Founder of The Butterfly Project Malaysia

  • Malaysian Hotel Tourism Tax Don't Get Scam


    Malaysia Tourism Tax

    It has come to my attention that I am sick and tired of educating hotel frontlines on how the Malaysian Tourism Tax rule works. I find myself arguing just to fight for my rights. What and how are these people train? Seriously the standard of customer service in Malaysia has always irked me. Not enough training and attention is given to customer services here!

    My first case was with Mercure Hotel Kota Kinabalu Sabah where the concierge lady charged me RM10 after seeing my second guest is Baby G (foreigner) so she jumps into automatic gear that she needs to charge me RM10 Tourism Tax without properly checking that my guest isn't the main booker nor the person paying for the room.

    Even after I confronted her about how the rule works, she continues to insist she's right. Oh fine, I'll take it up to your management after I am back.
    got my RM10 refunded after complaining

    And ok management has sorted that out and apologize. Here's evidence that they understand what, how and when to charge the RM10 Tourism Tax. It's not that I am a stingy mofo, but I can't stand it when information or rules are not followed properly (thanks to my 6 years working in a law firm, I have this iron bekside now). Worst these people don't try to LISTEN to you telling them they're not doing it right.

    FYI Tourism Tax came about in June 2017 where any foreigners holidaying and staying in Malaysian hotels would be charged an RM10 per room per night. I spoke to foreigners and tourists about this casually and they did not like the idea at all and would rather not visit Malaysia due to the "extra charge" on top of the existing taxes already imposed on them.

    Still, I think Malaysia has one of the most affordable hotel rates compared to neighboring countries. Especially for 5-star hotels. For RM200-RM500 on Agoda, you can already book a decent 5-star hotel room.

    Anyway, the Tourism Tax is imposed on foreigners who booked and checked-in to the hotel rooms. This means if the main person who booked is a local a.k.a Malaysian, you do not have to pay Tourism Tax. If you're staying with a guest regardless of foreigner or not, it does not really matter. That's just a second guest.

    Here's some info that I found on customs.gov.my

    23. Under paragraph 2 of the Tourism Tax (Exemption) Order 2017, the following tourists are exempted from the payment of the whole of TTx when they stay at any accommodation premise in Malaysia:
    a) a tourist who is a Malaysian national; and
    b) a tourist who is a permanent resident of Malaysia. (holds MyPR card)

    Q2: A Malaysian national (local) and foreigner both check into the same room and the local registers upon checking in. Upon checkout, the local pays for the stay. Is TTx chargeable?
    A2: Not subject to TTx because a local registered and stayed in the room. However, under a twin-sharing arrangement, the foreigner registers upon checking in and the stay will be subject to TTx at RM10 per room per night.

    Q3: A local and foreigner both check into the same room and the foreigner registers upon checking in. Upon check-out, the foreigner pays for the stay. Is TTx chargeable?
    A3: Subject to TTx because the foreigner stayed and paid for the stay.

    Q4: A local and foreigner both check into the same room and the foreigner registers upon checking in. Upon check-out, the local pays for the stay. Is TTx chargeable?
    A4: Subject to TTx because the room is registered in the name of the foreigner.

    I hope this gives light to who pays the Tourism Tax if you're staying with a foreigner. It is the person who registers and check-in (obviously only the main booker can check-in to validate identity as the main booker). I've stayed at many establish hotels and resorts in Malaysia e.g Mandarin Oriental Hotel, YTL Resorts many times with Baby G and I was not charged Tourism Tax.

    I could be wrong still, see for instance Genting reception tried to charge me Tourism Tax when it's registered and booked by a local - ME. I feedback this to their Facebook page so they could be aware of what's going on. Instead, I find myself having to train them too.

    A big mistake customer service people can do is take their customers for granted. As if everyone is an idiot who doesn't know how things work. Look who's the bigger idiot who says goodnight in broad daylight. Enjoy the screenshots!

    example of cs trying to think they're smarter than you

    example of cs not listening to your feedback about
    how Tourism Tax works

    from front desk to online customer service - all duno anything

    saying goodnight in broad daylight 11am

    My blood just boils when I encounter customer service experience like this, from banks to Maxis, hotels they're all the same here. But today it's about Tourism Tax and I hope you don't get charged unknowingly just because you're with a foreigner.

    P.S: This morning I saw my credit card was charged Tourism Tax RM10 by Hilton Kuala Lumpur and I reached out to the customer service team who promptly apologized and reversed this. 

    I think I may have found meaning to continue blogging just by ranting about customer service in Malaysia. I have so many stories to share actually! In which 90% of the time I let it slide because I understand how it is to be in the customer service line.

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