India incredibly cheap!
Sep 05 2013 , Mumbai/Pune
With ` touching a new low every day, travel agents are now awaiting more overseas tourists this season
Says Vikram Malhi, GM, South & Southeast Asia, Expedia: “With India’s weather conditions getting better and October-March being the peak season for inbound travel, we expect India to definitely be looked at as a preferred holiday option by foreigners.”
Expedia, which operates in 29 countries, is running marketing campaigns on its international websites wherein India is being promoted as a holiday destination. “We also allow consumers to bundle holiday activities as they construct their packages. Such initiatives are expected to draw fruitful results for the Indian tourism industry. Also, with our 18, 000 live deals every day and discounts of up to 50 per cent off on hotels in hot destinations like Kerala, Jaipur, Goa and Udaipur, we are trying to serve both domestic as well as foreign travellers with the best possible options,” Malhi said.
“Sales are picking up but the lead time is not much to benefit from foreign package bookings to take advantage of the weakening rupee,” said Sushil Tandon, general manager at the Vivanta by Taj, adding that he was expecting more foreigners to Goa.
According to Surinder Singh Sodhi, senior vice president & head, leisure travel (inbound), Thomas Cook (India), though traditionally considered a premium destination for foreign tourists, India has now come into focus with renewed interest courtesy the depreciating rupee.
“Our inbound team has seen an increase of 10 per cent in queries with Delhi, Agra, Rajastha and Kerala continuing as favourites. We also got queries for Punjab, the north east and Kashmir,” Sodhi said.
The fall in rupee has made the inbound product far more attractive for foreign tourists with an impact on value proposition upward of 10 per cent, feels Sodhi. The company has introduced new destinations and packages, such as Kaapi Trails (the story of the coffee bean with home stays), Bengaluru-Coorg along with Punjab and Shimla since NRI weddings bring strong potentials for these markets.
“All our products are customised and tailormade for our inbound customers. We expect that in the coming months there will be more inbound bookings from our traditional markets such as the UK, Germany, the US, Australia and Japan. The falling rupee has made India a bit more affordable destination as we had out-priced ourselves,” said Arup Sen, director, special projects, Cox & Kings.
The rupee weakening to the US dollar may also see a rise in chartered flights to Goa during this season beginning October, which will bring in valuable foreign exchange, said Neeta Sen, general manager at 5-star deluxe Cidade de Goa.