BEIRUT — Tourism establishments can “exceptionally and optionally” price their bills in US dollars between June 2 and Sept. 30, which can be paid either in lira or dollars, the Tourism Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Here’s what we know:
• The ministry said it made the decision “taking into consideration the exceptional condition that the country is going through, particularly when it comes to the fluctuation of the lira rate against the dollar and in order to allow a good monitoring and comparison of prices.”
• The Tourism Ministry also said that it “stresses on all tourism establishments to abide by the market prices which takes into consideration the purchasing power of the customers of these establishments.”
• Tourism Minister Walid Nassar told L’Orient Today that if a customer decides to pay in Lebanon’s currency instead of US dollars, the lira price would be at the discretion of the establishment at the parallel market rate, and not the Sayrafa rate, set by Banque du Liban for a number of official transactions.
• The value of the lira has fluctuated significantly in recent weeks, depreciating from approximately LL 27,000 against the US dollar on May 15, the day of the Parliamentary elections, to an all-time low of LL 37,700 on May 27, when it started rebounding. The lira has since fluctuated between approximately LL27,000 and LL32,000 against the dollar.