statesman news service
KOLKATA, 29 JUNE: Indian tourist outflow have registered a significant decline to extent of 15-20 per cent in the last two months due to falling rupee, says a report prepared by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
Releasing the Assocham paper on “Weak rupee makes foreign trips unaffordable for Indians” Mr DS Rawat, secretary general of Assocham said due to the fall in rupee, Indian tourists are not just restricting their vacation days, but are opting for holidays within the country rather than going abroad.
“Indian travel companies are also reducing the number of days from packages to make it more affordable for globetrotters. Most of the middle-income groups are looking to offset those costs by opting for shorter duration stays and looking at budget accommodation options”, adds Mr Rawat.
The paper further points out that many are opting for domestic options due to high air fares. The demand for destinations such as Kashmir, Ladakh, Goa, Himachal and Sikkim, which thrive on foreign tourists in a normal year, are seeing a spurt in Indian travellers, the Assocham assessment says.
The paper further highlights that due to depreciating rupee, India has become an attractive destination especially for inbound customers. The depreciating rupee has given an unprecedented focus on domestic travel with India re-emerging as a viable option, highlights the paper.
The paper further estimates that last year nearly 15 million Indians travelled abroad on business and leisure, an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year. Over the past three months travel costs and accommodation have gone up by around 20 to 25 per cent. The falling rupee is definitely resulting in a slowdown in foreign trips and spending abroad by Indians.
While business travel may not have been as affected, middle-class Indians are now feeling the pinch as the economy slows dramatically, bringing with it uncertainty about the future and accompanied by high cost of living, adds Mr Rawat.
Among the most preferred domestic destinations such as Himachal, Kashmir and Goa, the cheap monsoon packages by Goa for off-season travel could get good response from domestic tourists.