Sri Lanka forces hotel services to charge tourists in foreign currency as dollar crisis deepens

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has issued a notice to the official gazette, demanding that hotel services only accept payment from tourists in foreign currencies as the islands’ economic crisis worsens.

The Gazette Notification notes that hotel services registered and licensed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority are required to,

To accept payment for services rendered to persons residing outside of Sri Lanka only in foreign currency.

Deposit these foreign currencies in a foreign currency account of the hotel service provider or sell them to an approved bank within three business days.

Payments by credit to a foreign currency business account of the hotel service provider, in the event that such person residing outside Sri Lanka makes payments using an electronic funds transfer card (credit card, debit card, travel card, etc.).

However, hotel service providers may accept payments in Sri Lankan rupees from tourists if they provide proof that the rupees spent were obtained from conversions on the island and through a authorized bank or authorized exchange office.

The announcement comes as Sri Lanka faces a deepening economic crisis, with growing food shortages and regular power cuts across the island.

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