Inbound Travel

Demonetisation: Foreign tourists have tough time

DHARAMSALA: The ban on Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes has left foreign tourists in trouble. Tina Mayor, a tourist from Australia in McLeodganj, could not believe when the hotel owner refused to accept the currencies from her today.

“How can you refuse to accept the currency from me,” she said, arguing with the owner of the hotel where she was staying. The hotel owner had a hard time trying to convince her that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes had been banned by the government, reports The Tribune.

Tina said, “Only yesterday, she had got Australian dollar exchanged for Indian currency. Now I have got about Rs 30,000 in Indian currency. I have plans to go around various places in India, but do not know what to do with this currency.”

Like Tina, many other foreign tourists are feeling harassed. Some of them are flying back to their country but are told by money exchangers that Indian currency available with them will not be exchanged now. Foreign tourists said since they did not have bank accounts in India, the money they had in Indian currency was likely to go waste.

Hoteliers are also a worried lot. Hotel association of upper Dharamsala held a meeting here today to discuss the scenario. General secretary of the association Sanjeev Gandhi said the move was likely to hit the tourism industry for a few months. Already they had started receiving cancellations of booking from metro cities. Most of the business in the Dharamsala tourism industry was cash-driven and the decision of the government would affect the hotels and restaurants. The government should have implemented the decision in a phased manner, he said.

Akshay, a antiques and handicraft merchant from McLeodganj, said his business had come to a halt. Most customers were foreign or Indian tourists. Today nobody had cash to buy high price items.


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