Aug. 2, 2012
-- Southeast Asia calling from downgrades to deals and discounts, the Indian traveler has coped with the rupee's depreciation for the annual summer vacation Summer is almost over and one of its most visible signs are children lugging heavy bags to school across India. For Indian travelers, both quality and value pricing are of importance. "While the depreciating rupee has increased pricing for outbound travel, we have seen no adverse impact," says Madhav Pai, COO, leisure travel, outbound, Thomas 'Cook India.
"Holidays are now so entrenched in the Indian traveller's DNA that we are unlikely to see a serious impact. In fact, our forward bookings for the season have increased by around 35 percent. Passenger numbers have shown a record increase of 66 percent, which reiterates the tremendous potential of the outbound travel segment in India. Also, market feedback indicates that the rupee is likely to stabilise at its Current levels and, therefore, unlikely to cause a dampener on travel." While the depreciating rupee has increased pricing for outbound travel, we have seen no adverse impact," says Madhav Pai, COO, leisure travel, outbound, Thomas Cook India. "Our Far East tours are attractively priced and, despite the rupee depreciation, are seeing extremely strong growth," Pai goes on to add. "While we did not encounter a noticeable impact for summer, we do anticipate an impact in the coming months, with travellers exploring value-driven options," says Pai. "Short haul destinations, such as Dubai, Sri Lanka, the Far East and Mauritius are perennial options and in this price-sensitive scenario they offer great value.
India offers a viable option, with strong demand for destinations like Goa, Leh-Ladakh, Sikkim and the Northeast." "Our Far East tours attractively priced and, despite the rupee depreciation, are seeing extremely strong growth," Pai goes on to add.," he points out. As we all know Indian travelers love discounts! "Our early bird offers have always seen strong uptake and such deals are invaluable in giving impetus to a sluggish market. Given the customer's price sensitivities, we have taken a strategic decision to operate a wide range of value tours (for example super budget, budget), in addition to our premium packages," says Pai. .
"The rupee depreciation came in towards the end of the summer season and the true impact, if at all, would be expected only in the forth-coming months," he says. Given that the Olympics will be next test for outbound tourism, it will be interesting to see the number of Indians willing to go for the Olympics in London.