Despite dollar touching a record high and remaining 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 budgets and choose inexpensive locations closer to India.
According to them, passengers will have to pay 15% more on hotels, shopping and sightseeing in countries 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. He added that one of his clients, who was planning a holiday in 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 those who would have holidayed for 10 days are now trying to cut it down to seven," he said.