Tourist hotels in Sri Lanka have been told to only accept payment in foreign currency

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourists visiting Sri Lanka are encouraged to pay for hotels in foreign currencies instead of converting cash into rupees at the curbside market as the country faces currency shortages due to injections of cash.

The central bank said registered hotels would be mandated to collect payments from tourists only in foreign currency.

“We would ask foreigners to pay either by credit card or upon departure they would pay in their currency of a foreign country,” Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabral said after raising rates by 50 basis points, which would be fine. way to reduce money printing and currency shortages.

“If they cash out, they will need to do so at an authorized dealer and show that the receipt was cashed by an authorized dealer for that value.”

The tourist hotels must in turn deposit the dollars in the banks within two or three days.

Hotels generally pay a lower rate to tourists than commercial banks. Commercial banks are now expected to maintain a peg of 200 against the US dollar, which has been weakened due to open market operations aimed at keeping rates low.

In the curbside market, the dollar is around 240 to the US dollar.

After Sri Lanka opened to tourism for the first time in 20 months, it welcomed 80,000 tourists in December 2021, compared to around 200,000 per month before the pandemic.

So far in January, around 45,000 tourists, mostly Russians, have come to the country. (Colombo/Jan22/2022)