Foreign tourists face cash crunch amid demonetization

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Cash-crunch triggered by demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is not only causing inconvenience to people in the country, but foreign tourists visiting here are equally troubled as they are unable to use smaller denominations.

“We arrived in India on November 10, and in New Delhi, we found that we couldn’t get any money. The hotel had all its cash taken away and as a result they couldn’t give us small denominations, which is difficult when you are a tourist walking around and you need public convenience and want to give tips; we couldn’t do any of that.”The situation without any Indian money at all was very difficult. People were understanding, and even in some places, they took British pounds from us in order to be able to get over this problem. But, it really is quiet a difficulty. We are entirely reliable on credit cards. I am hoping that things will get easier,” a tourist told ANI.

“It’s been a nuisance, we can only use credit cards and debit cards,” Juliet, another tourist, said.

On Monday, foreign tourists visiting Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, were caught off guard as ticket counters refused to accept their Rs 500 and 1,000 notes, and groups of foreigners were seen chipping in with change to buy tickets.

“I cannot buy a ticket because the ticket counter told me that Rs 500 rupee and 1,000 notes do not work here. I don’t know how, but I cannot find a way in India,” said a Chinese tourist.

Most foreign tourists were also unaware of the government decision and its intricacies. They also faced a problem exchanging currency as with both banks and Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) shut; there was an acute shortage of Rs 100 notes.

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