The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) announced on Saturday the Indian rupee has dropped to USD 60.76, affecting Indian tourists budget by 20 percent during the past two months.
The chamber explained that the fall in rupee makes foreign trips unaffordable for Indian tourists, adding that Indians are not just restricting their vacation days, but are also planning to spend holidays within the country rather than going abroad.
Indian travel agencies are also reducing the number of days from packages to make it more affordable, while most middle income groups are looking to reduce the costs by choosing shorter stays and looking at budget accommodation options, noted the chamber.
The chamber pointed out that many are heading towards domestic options due to high air fares. Destinations like Kashmir, Ladakh, Goa, Himachal and Sikkim, which attract foreign tourists, are now starting to also attract Indian travelers, the chamber also said.
The chamber estimated that nearly 15 million Indians traveled abroad on business and leisure last year, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. However, over the past three months, travel costs and accommodation have gone up by about 20 to 25 percent due to the fall of rupee.
While business travel may not be as affected, ASSOCHAM says middle class Indians are now feeling the pinch as the economy slows dramatically, bringing with it uncertainty about the future, accompanied by a high cost of living.
The chamber concluded that domestic destinations are going to dominate summer vacations, and the most preferred destinations would be be Kashmir, Himachal and Goa.