Falling rupee has little impact on Indian tourists

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) The weakening rupee has had little impact on Indian travellers who remain eager to travel and have not cancelled or altered their plans waiting for the rupee to stabilise, leading travel portals said Monday.

According to Yatra.com, which conducted a survey, 62 percent of the respondents are pursuing their holiday plans.

The survey said that Southeast Asian countries are the destination of choice, followed by Europe, the US and Britain.

"While 43 percent of the respondents would like to travel within India, 45 percent said that the location would depend on the expenses involved," said the survey.

"We have been periodically mapping travel trends amongst our base of travellers to get a sense of their mood, and this latest survey seems to suggest that the market is still upbeat on holiday travel despite the depreciation in the rupee," Sharat Dhall, president, Yatra.com said.

"Travellers are confident that the currency depreciation will be offset by attractive discounts offered by hotels and flight operators," he added.

The survey was conducted among 6,000 individuals, majority of them aged between 25 to 45 years.

MakemMyTrip.com said travellers plan their holidays at least a couple of months in advance so currency fluctuation does not really have a major impact.

"Travellers who are exploring a holiday at a short notice are more likely to be influenced by currency movement. Some end up considering at short-haul destinations instead of long-haul ones to optimize their holiday budgets," Rajesh Magow, chief executive officer, MakeMyTrip said.

"Despite the concerns due to currency depreciation, we continue to witness growth in both domestic and international travel," he added.

However, travel site Expedia.co.in said that there was a dip in Indians travelling to foreign destinations, but the depreciating rupee had also opened up huge opportunities in the domestic markets with the arrival of foreign tourists.

Meanwhile, cost-cutting among Indian travellers is evident.

"Many travellers are looking at shortening the duration or downgrading accommodation or removing a short stopover from the itinerary," said Vikram Malhi, general manager, South and Southeast Asia Expedia.

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