AGENTS in India are cautious about outbound travel demand as the national currency depreciated to 68 rupees against the US dollar from 61 rupees a year ago.
“The price of outbound packages have gone up by 20 per cent when compared to last year. Though demand from the corporate segment is there, I expect demand from the leisure segment to be down by seven to 12 per cent this year. Travel to Europe will suffer the most,” said Rajan Sehgal, director, Arrival Air Services.
Sehgal added that even though fuel prices have gone down recently, airlines are offering little respite by not bringing down fuel surcharges.
The current state of the Indian economy will be of no help either. “Though the Indian rupee has depreciated in the past, the buoyant Indian economy had acted as a cushion. This year, Indian business sentiments are gloomy with sectors like real estate already under pressure,” said Guldeep Sahni, president, Outbound Travel Operators Association of India.
Sahni also expects Indian travellers to go for more shorthaul destinations as a result.
Sharat Dhall, president, Yatra.com, concurs saying: “We have always seen a change in the Indian traveller’s behaviour with the fluctuation of the rupee. People will not only change their choice of destinations but also look at compromising on accommodation.”