Asia becomes pricier

A NUMBER of Asian destinations will be at least five to 10 per cent more expensive in the coming season, as currency appreciation, fuel surcharges and in some cases, new taxes, inflate price tags of programmes.

Marintur Indonesia executive director Ismail Ali expected rates in Bali to increase by 18 to 25 per cent. With other parts of the country also poised for slight increases and fuel prices ballooning airfares, overall tariffs of Indonesian programmes would be around 15 per cent higher than last season, he said.

Panorama Tours Indonesia managing director Rocky Praputranto’s estimate was a 10 per cent increase in package prices, which he noted was still “value for money, especially for Bali”.

In-demand Myanmar is seeing an average hotel rate increase of 20 to 25 per cent, but Exotissimo Myanmar general manager Richard Moreau still expects a 30 to 35 per cent gain in business this year.

Tour operators in India report moderate hotel rate increases, if any, but are more concerned about the proposed service taxes on hotel rooms and air travel.

Tourism India Management Enterprises managing director M K Chatterjee said: “Taxes and oil prices will make programmes three to five per cent more expensive.”

By Ollie Quiniquini

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