Despite dollar touching a record high and becoming expensive, Indian tourists are not cancelling their trips abroad but are making compromises to make up for the 15% rise in travel expenses. Tour operators say a devalued rupee has forced many to shrink their budgets and choose less expensive locations such as Sri Lanka, closer to home.
According to the tour operators, passengers will have to pay 15% more on hotels, shopping and sightseeing at places like the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and even Singapore. “If a family of four is travelling to one of these places, the holiday budget will shoot up considerably,” said Ajay Prakash, president, Travel Agents’ Federation of India (TAFI). He added that one of his clients, who was planning a holiday to Northern Europe, decided to settle for Hong Kong instead. “There are many people who take one annual holiday. They might change their destination to suit their budgets but won’t cancel travel plans,” Prakash said.
Other tour operators said the effect of the rupee devaluation is also evident in the travel budget people are assigning their agents. Pradip Lulla of Cupid Travels said most of his clients have given him a smaller budget than usual. “This means that those who would have otherwise holidayed for 10 days are now trying to cut it down to seven,” he said.