Malaysia has just announced the latest way that they plan to tax tourists.
In 2017 the country introduced an additional nightly fee on all hotel stays, depending on the type of hotel you were staying at. Now they’re adding an additional tax for airline passengers.
This new departure tax will kick in for international travelers as of September 1, 2019. The fee will vary depending on the country you’re traveling to, as well as the cabin you’re flying in, as follows:
- RM8 (~2USD) fee when flying to ASEAN countries in economy
- RM50 (~12USD) fee when flying to ASEAN countries in non-economy
- RM20 (~5USD) fee when flying to non-ASEAN countries in economy
- RM150 (~36USD) fee when flying to non-ASEAN countries in non-economy
Since this is a departure tax, it’s based on the type of flight you’re taking when leaving Malaysia (this fee doesn’t apply on flights to Malaysia).
ASEAN countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Connecting and transit passengers spending less than 12 hours in Malaysia won’t be subjected to this fee either. Lastly, those under 24 months old won’t be subjected to this new tax.
Ultimately this isn’t a huge amount, in the sense that it’s not as drastic as the UK Air Passenger Duty, which can be $200+ per person. However, it also does add up.
Malaysia’s finance minister notes that these fees are in line with what some other countries charge, and says that the revenue generated from this will be used to boost domestic tourism. Alrighty, so they’ll tax international tourism to invest in domestic tourism.