Holidaymakers wanting a “local” experience by putting up the night at an Airbnb will still be charged the tourism tax, despite such accommodation not recognised by local authorities.
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the minister of tourism and culture, said this was to ensure justice for other hotel operators in the country.
“Although local authorities have different laws or certain reasons for not recognising Airbnb, we will continue to impose the tourism tax,” he said when winding up the debate on the Tourism Industry (Amendment) Bill 2017 at the Dewan Rakyat sitting on Thursday.
The bill, aimed at amending the definition of “accommodation premises” to include any permanent and temporary structures, was later passed.
The amendment subsection 5 (3) of the Tourism Industry Act 1992 by increasing the penalty rate from the existing fine of not more than RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding five years, to a maximum fine of RM500,000 or a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.