Travelling on a tight budget seems to the trend this summer, as holidaymakers struggle to fund their vacation in the aftermath of demonetisation.According to travel and tourism industry sources, the falloutof note ban has been such that the number of Indians packing their bags for summer vacation has not come down but they have become very cost conscious.
“In our annual summer survey, 75.3 per cent of respondents said demonetisation did not have any impact on their summer travel plans. In fact, the number of families booking for summer vacations has seen a increase on our portal this year. But to minimise the impact of demonetisation on vacations, over 80 per cent of Indians are opting to reduce the number of days to travel and compromise on accommodation. As travellers are particular about their budget home stays, self expenditure and other trends are picking up,” said Sharat Dhall, president of Yatra.com.
Industry sources say the budget-conscious Indian travellers prefer to book their tickets two to three months in advance to avoid last-minute high fares. Another notable trend this year is that due to stress on budget, a number of summer travellers have planned their holidays and booking themselves without hiring tour operators. “As a result, we have seen a decline in business this summer,” says Pronab Sarkar, president of Indian Association of Tour Operators.
The emergence of online portals for travel and hotel bookings has only added to the woes of travel operators. “The price-conscious Indian traveller is always looking for ways to find the best prices to book along with saving on time and effort. This summer, the trend has only increased. Around 50 per cent of travellers booked their tickets one to three months in advance,” says Nikhil Ganju, country manager, TripAdvisor.