Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers (Photo: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Royal Malaysian Customs Department said the country will begin charging tourism tax from August 1.

The tax will be collected based on length and places tourists will stay and will be applied to all visitors regardless of their nationality or travel purpose.

The rate ranges from 2.5RM for an unrated room to 20RM for a five-star hotel room per night.

Accommodation such as homestays and Kampung Stays (a Malaysian village), premises with fewer than ten rooms or ones maintained by religious institutions for non-commercial purpose are exempt from the tax.

Registration of the operators of these premises will start in July.

Revenue from tourism will be used to develop the country’s tourism sector, including improving tourism infrastructure, transport and promoting events. The tourism tax will be collected together with Goods and Services Tax and service fee.

According to Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, the new tourist tax will raise up to 654 million RM (153.2 million USD) if the occupancy rate hits 60 percent for the 11 million "room nights" available in the country.-VNA