SL extends debt moratorium for crisis-hit tourism sector

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has decided to extend a debt moratorium for the country’s crisis-hit tourism sector by six months.

A debt moratorium on capital and interest for Sri Lanka’s tourism sector which was initiated in April 2019 in the wake of the Easter attacks and expected to expire on September 30, has been extended until March 31 2021, Xinhua news agency quoted the CBSL as saying on Friday.

The CBSL requested licensed commercial banks and licensed specialized banks to provide moratoriums following representations made by the Ministry of Tourism and in light of the ongoing effects of the pandemic on tourism-related businesses.

Tourism industry stakeholders, including The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and Colombo City Hotels Association (CCHA), welcomed the moratorium extension, citing difficulties faced in the wake of the 2019 Easter attacks and the pandemic.

Sri Lanka’s international airports remain closed to foreign tourists, with zero arrivals recorded since May, as the government continues to keep a tight lid in order to eradicate the pandemic.