Melaka Heritage Fee: A Practical Guide for Hoteliers

Melaka, a city rich in history and cultural heritage, has implemented a Heritage Fee since 1st September 2017 to support the preservation and promotion of its unique legacy. As a hotelier in this iconic Malaysian city, it's crucial to understand the implications of this fee and how it impacts your operations and your guests. This guide will provide you with practical insights and tips on managing the Heritage Fee efficiently, ensuring compliance, and enhancing guest experience.

Understanding Melaka Heritage Fee

Melaka's heritage fee is a mandatory fee imposed on hoteliers in the city. It is aimed at preserving the historical and cultural heritage of Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Hoteliers need to understand the importance of the heritage fee and its impact on the tourism industry. By contributing to the preservation of Melaka's heritage, hoteliers are not only fulfilling their social responsibility but also attracting more tourists who are interested in experiencing the rich history and culture of the city.

How Much is the Heritage Fee?

As of now, the Heritage Fee remains at RM2.00 per room per night. This fee applies to all types of accommodations, including hotels, resorts, guesthouses, chalets and resorts.

Even though on 20th June 2024, there was an announcement that the fee would increase to a new range of RM3.00 to RM5.00, effective from 1st July 2024 depending on the classification of the tourism premises. However, on 28th June 2024, the implementation of this increase has been postponed.

Let's look at the table below outlining the Heritage Fee rates based on the classification of tourism accommodation premises that the Melaka State Government plans to implement. 

Melaka Heritage Fee new rate July 2024

 

Who Needs to Pay the Melaka Heritage Fee?

The fee applies to all domestic and international tourists staying in Melaka. However, long-term residents and expatriates with proof of residency are exempt from this charge.

Implementing the Heritage Fee in Your Hotel

Implementing the heritage fee in your hotel requires careful planning and communication with your guests. Here are some steps to follow:

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Sample Booking Confirmation Sent To Guest with Heritage Fee Detail by Softinn Booking Engine

1. Inform your guests: Make sure to inform your guests about the heritage fee when they make a reservation or check-in. Ensure that all booking channels, including your website, online travel agencies (OTAs), and front desk staff, clearly communicate the Heritage Fee. Transparency is key to avoiding any misunderstandings.

2. Clearly state the fee: Clearly state the amount of the heritage fee and the purpose of its collection. This will help guests understand the importance of their contribution.

3. Include the fee in the bill: Add the heritage fee to the guest's bill and clearly label it as such. This will ensure that the fee is collected and accounted for properly.

4. Accounting and Reporting: Keep accurate records of the fees collected and ensure timely remittance to the relevant authorities. Regular audits and reconciliations will help in maintaining compliance and avoiding penalties.

By implementing the heritage fee in your hotel, you are not only complying with the local regulations but also contributing to the preservation of Melaka's cultural heritage.

Benefits to Hoteliers


1. Enhanced reputation:
By actively participating in the preservation of Melaka's heritage, hoteliers can enhance their reputation as responsible businesses. This can attract more customers who value sustainable and culturally conscious tourism.

2. Increased tourist interest: The heritage fee helps fund the maintenance and restoration of historical sites and attractions in Melaka. This can increase tourist interest in the city, leading to higher occupancy rates for hotels.

3. Competitive advantage: Hotels that actively promote their support for Melaka's heritage preservation through the heritage fee can gain a competitive advantage over other establishments. This can result in higher customer loyalty and repeat bookings.

Overall, the benefits of the heritage fee outweigh the costs for hoteliers, as it contributes to the long-term sustainability of Melaka's tourism industry.

Tips for Hoteliers on Managing the Heritage Fee

Managing the heritage fee in your hotel requires efficient processes and effective communication. Here are some tips to help you:


1. Train your staff:
Ensure that your staff is well-informed about the heritage fee and its purpose. They should be able to answer guest inquiries and explain the fee clearly.

2. Update your systems: Update your billing systems to include the heritage fee and ensure that it is calculated accurately. This will streamline the collection and reporting process.

3. Communicate with guests: Provide information about the heritage fee on your website, in-room materials, and during check-in. This will help guests understand the fee and its importance.

4. Collaborate with local authorities: Work closely with local authorities responsible for the collection and allocation of the heritage fee. This collaboration can help streamline processes and ensure transparency.


Once a hotel collects the Melaka Heritage Fee from its guests, hotels typically submit the collections to the relevant authorities responsible for managing the fee. In the case of Melaka, the process may involve remitting the collected fees to one or more of the following entities:

1. Melaka State Government

Hotels may be required to remit the collected Heritage Fee to the Melaka State Government's designated department or agency responsible for managing tourism-related revenues and funds.

 2. Local Municipal or City Council: 

In some cases, hotels may be instructed to remit the collected fees to the local municipal or city council in Melaka. These authorities may oversee the administration of the Heritage Fee at the local level and manage its utilization for heritage conservation and tourism development projects.

 3. Tourism Board or Authority: 

The Melaka Tourism Board or another relevant tourism authority may be involved in the management of the Heritage Fee collections. Hotels may need to submit the collected fees to this entity, which may use the funds for promoting tourism initiatives and preserving Melaka's cultural heritage.


The specific process for remitting the collected Heritage Fee may vary depending on local regulations and administrative procedures. Hotels should consult with the appropriate authorities or government agencies in Melaka to obtain guidance on how to submit the collections, including any required documentation or reporting procedures. It's essential for hotels to ensure timely and accurate remittance of the collected fees to maintain compliance with the regulations governing the Heritage Fee.

Conclusion

Melaka's heritage fee is an important aspect of the city's efforts to preserve its historical and cultural heritage. Hoteliers play a crucial role in implementing and managing the fee effectively.

By understanding the importance of the heritage fee, implementing it in your hotels, and managing it efficiently, you can contribute to the sustainable development of Melaka's tourism industry while preserving the city's unique heritage for future generations.

It is essential for hoteliers to embrace the heritage fee as a responsibility and an opportunity to showcase your commitment to preserving Melaka's rich history and culture.

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