Holiday destinations closer home in Asia are increasingly being favoured by Indian tourists as they look to lessen the burden of weaker rupee against dollar on their leisure trips,according to travel service providers.
And those sticking to their original choice of travelling to exotic locations,are being forced to cut down the number of days spent outside the country.
“This quarter,destinations like Bhutan,Cambodia,Myanmar,Sri lanka,Nepal,the Philippines,Singapore and Vietnam contributed a healthy 40 per cent growth from the Indian outbound travel,” TUI India Senior Vice-President Sunil Hasija said.
According to BhutanTravelAgency.com Director Kartik Tiwari,Indians prefer to holiday at locations that have advantages like reduced travel time,easy visa opportunities and are cost effective.
“We have seen the maximum growth this quarter with almost 30 per cent of our tourism from India,” Tiwari said without sharing specific details.
According to Pearl International Tours & Travel (PITT) Executive Director Arjun Seth macro economic conditions like inflation,slow industrial and service output,paralysis in economic reform,fuel prices and the depreciation of the rupee by 20 per cent in India have impacted travel to exotic locations.
“While North America,UK,Scandinavian countries and Maldives is the flavor of the season,the dent in the pockets for all to have to shell out more in rupee terms has taken its toll by people cutting their average summer breaks from 10 days to 6 days,” he said.
With sky high domestic airfares due to Kingfisher and Air India cutting flights because financial troubles,domestic travel is also hurting,he added.
The rupee has been on a downward spiral over the past few months against the US dollar and touched a record low of 56.52 against last month. Although destinations in Asia have become the favourite,the demand for places in the US and Europe is still buoyant,according to Cox & Kings.
“Cox & Kings has not seen any shift in the travel pattern amongst travellers due to rupee depreciation. Our summer bookings have been in line with our growth projections,” Cox & Kings Director Peter Kerkar said.
If one has to compare between South East Asia and European countries,the cost difference due to rupee depreciation is not more than 10 per cent and this is not a reason for shift in destinations,he added.
“On the other hand,what travellers may do if they find holidays expensive they may downtrade,that is instead of going for 10 days to a European destination,they may go for seven days,” he added.