Times could not have been worst times for Indian leisure travellers…

…But there is a silver lining in the dark clouds!

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Travel to West is just out of bounds for Indians in the wake of wakening rupee.

A two week trip to US would have cost travel enthusiasts Rs. 1.25 Lakhs in early this year, with Rupee dropping from Rs. 45 against the dollar in 2011-end to Rs. 60 now, the package will cost nearly Rs. 2 Lakhs. Other popular destinations like Canada, Singapore and Dubai have also become more expensive as their currencies have gained against the rupee. As a result, leisure travel to the West and Southeast Asia will suffer considerably.

When the Indian rupee weakens, the forex travel card market shivers which is a pre-paid card on which foreign currency is loaded and can be used on while travelling overseas. Already forex card sellers, largely banks, are seeing the impact on the amount of currency loaded. The forex travel card market, estimated at $1.9 billion in India, has grown at 15-18% in the last two years, primarily driven by the retails segment comprising leisure, medical and student travellers.

All this is going to make domestic travel popular. Presently right from Kashmir to Andaman & Nikobar Islands, Indian holiday destinations are catching up. People would like to opt for Kashmir, Portblair, Coorg whereas during winters places like Rajasthan and Gujarat will experience huge demand. Sikkim would also be preferred destination.

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Malaysia and Thailand would also attain the crown of preferred destination abroad for those who are keen foreign traveller on budget. Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Bhutan would also be preferred destinations. Other viable options include Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Philippines. Not only this, travellers would also like to explore destinations like Turkey, Egypt and Greece, though being costly, they are close to India.
Expensive Destinations in two years:

1. USA : 33%
2. Canada: 12%
3. Australia: 22%
4. Singapore: 18%
5. Dubai: 36%
6. Continental Europe: 22%

Budget Alternatives in India:

1. Kashmir
2. Andaman & Nikobar Islands
3. Kerala
4. Gujarat
5. Rajasthan

Budget Alternatives abroad:

1. Thailand
2. Malaysia
3. Sri Lanka
4. Turkey
5. Greece

With such royal depreciation in rupee value, leisure travellers need to weigh all other options before planning their trip. They can have an extended stay at domestic destinations as an alternative to travel to the West.

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