Published On : Fri, Aug 23rd, 2013

Dollar Dilemma : Tumbling rupee troubles travel companies big time in Nagpur; Bookings hit

Nagpur News: As the plunging rupee against dollar has been sending jitters throughout the nation, the situation is no different back home in Nagpur. Worst hit are the travel companies which sell foreign tours on their package. Majority of foreign tour operators in the city are facing the worst as their business in this particular category registered a sharp decline, even more than the declining value of rupee in the dollar market. Given this period of the season remains usually low, additional rupee hit has virtually brought the international travel business in Nagpur to standstill.

The escalating value of dollar against rupee touching around Rs 66, has severely crippled the scheduled corporate and individual tours to foreign nations. Simply putting, traveling abroad has taken a back seat for now as everything for a traveler would go dearer once he or she enters the foreign land. This implies that if a hotel booking or a restaurant bill runs to 100 dollars in any foreign country, then the concerned Indian would have to shell out more rupees for footing that bill. Earlier when rupee stood at Rs 60 then the bill of 100 dollars would be Rs 6000 whereas with the latest plunge it would require Rs 6500 to pay a bill of 100 dollars. The enormity of the impact can be gauged that a 1000 dollar staying cost at Bangkok would require the Indian travelers to shell out around Rs 10000 more than what it used to be a month before.

Nagpur Today delves deeper into the nerve of crawling travel market in the city.

Double dilemma!!

Suneel Kashikar, General Manager, Jagsons Travels said the impact of falling rupee is enormous. The costs of hotel bookings have gone up while the passengers and even the travel companies are in dilemma over the ascending dollar. “A month before a dollar cost Rs 55-56 and was stable at that, but now the trend is too fluctuating. Just four days back it was Rs 62 and now Rs 66. We don’t know what it is going to be tomorrow. So we are taking fresh bookings at Rs 70-72 against each dollar. This has certainly taken a toll on our bookings. We are not in a position to give committed price to the travelers due to which they are not willing to book. The package cost have also escalated as a four day 1000 dollar trip that was priced  at Rs 55,000 just a month back is now coming at Rs 66-70 thousands.

Real impact during vacation time

Tripti Rocque, CEO, Nikhar Travels too accepted that disturbed rupee–dollar equation has hit the travel industry big time, but even it remains off season for travel companies. “The months of July, August and September runs low on travel bookings and usually people from Nagpur do not travel abroad around this period. But the impact cannot be denied. People have switched to domestic travel instead of making plans for foreign tour but the real situation can only come to the fore when the vacation time will be here. In Nagpur, people do not plan much in advance and hence real trends can be gauged by November. Overall the foreign tourism industry has hit a new low for now.”

Offseason bears little impact

However, Alok Tomar, Director at 3A Travels – a travel company in Nagpur having its head office at Jabalpur was not willing buy this theory. “This is normally an off season for the foreign traveling. Tours to America and Europe remains low during this period of the year and very few travels to Thailand. Hence the effect of falling rupee is not really felt. Though impact of weakening rupee certainly reflects in the prices of everything abroad irrespective of the currency being used in that nation, those who wish to travel do not mind this marginal increase. It may affect their shopping prospective and also add little to their hotel staying but once you make up your mind to travel then you are ready to pay this additional cost. Suppose if a baht (currency of Thailand) earlier stood at Rs 1.65 then it has increased to Rs 2.25. So an overall increase in the range of Rs 20-25 thousands is always okay with the ones who are going to travel outside. After all, one travels abroad only when he has more money,” opines Tomar adding that if there is any change in dollar, pound or euro against rupee the impact is evident but that does not mean that people will shun traveling abroad.