Falling rupee takes steam out of foreign holiday plans: Survey

  • Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2015 17:47 IST

While Indians planning vacations abroad were unfazed when the value of the Indian Rupee touched 63 against the US dollar, its recent slide to 66 seems to have finally spooked travelers, according to a survey by travel portal Yatra.com.

The portal polled 10,000 travellers each in July and August, when the currency recorded significant falls. The comparisons of the survey results showed huge difference between travellers’ opinions about foreign travel plans this year.

Nearly half the respondents (48.3%) had said currency fluctuation did not affect their foreign holidays after the previous fall. But now, more than 56% said they would take a call on their vacations only after its value appreciates.

“We have seen a change in the Indian travellers’ behaviour with the fluctuation of the rupee. When the rupee dipped to 66, Indian tourists changed their plans, shortened their trips as well as changed their choice of destinations. Many gave up plans of holidaying abroad and explored destinations within India,” said Sharat Dhall, president Yatra.com.

Dhall said the rupee had become stronger vis-à-vis other currencies such as the Ringgit and Baht, which made destinations such as Malaysia and Thailand affordable.

The rise in holiday costs also saw a sharp increase in the number of people planning shorter breaks. From 36.6% travellers picking a foreign trip spanning less than five days in July, the number rose to 47% a month later.

Vacations spanning more than 15 days saw a marginal growth up to 13% . Travel trade experts said this section consists of richer individuals not much affected by currency fluctuations.

The results also showed a huge difference in the choice of destinations. From the US, UK and Europe, travellers settled for more affordable Thailand, Malaysia and China.

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