Rupal Shukla would describe his recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey, as a shoppers’ paradise, all thanks to the fall in the country’s currency pound. “I bought leather shoes for ??800 (when converting from lire to INR) from a popular local LC Waikiki department store in Turkey. The same shoes would usually cost ??2,000 to 2,500, âshe said.
1 Turkish Lira (TRY) is equivalent to almost ??4.6, as on December 17th. Six months ago, the value of the INR against the TRY was ??8.48, while a year ago it was more than double at ??9.65.
âI was able to do a lot of shopping because consumer products valued in lire were quite cheap when converted to INR,â added Shukla.
But this crisis is unlikely to result in a substantial drop in the overall budget for travel to Turkey. This is especially true if you are purchasing a vacation package from a travel agency.
Mint spoke to three travel agencies that offer tour packages to international destinations to find that there has not been a noticeable difference in the prices of tour packages to Turkey or other countries whose value of the currency has fallen in recent months. âOur rates for hotels and tours are contracted in USD for the entire season and therefore such exchange rate fluctuations don’t really have an impact,â said Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head, holidays, MICE, Visa – Thomas Cook (India).
Rikant Pittie, co-founder of EaseMyTrip, agrees. âFor the Turkish market, we only deal in euros and US dollars and so far we have not seen any reduction in the prices of vacation packages. Hotels across the country continue to charge in euros and US dollars without reducing their prices, âhe said.
Shukla corroborated these findings. âThere has been a marginal drop in hotel prices, but limited to only 13-20%. Most hotels generally use the base currency USD or Euro, so unless a hotel bases its rate in lire, travelers won’t see a huge price change, âshe said.
If we look at air fares, Daniel D’Souza, President and Country Head, SOTC Travel, said that has also not changed from the pre-covid era.
âThe plane ticket to Istanbul from Mumbai and Delhi is currently around ??45,000 to ??50,000, which is roughly in the same range as in 2019. “
Currency depreciation can be beneficial for DIY travelers, as their purchasing power over local spending will increase.
“The lira depreciation will be of benefit to customers when they exchange their money in local currency for transportation, shopping, experiences and meals,” D’Souza said.
However, that still may not make a huge difference to the overall budget, as airfare and accommodation costs, both of which make up the bulk of a travel budget, will remain the same. Of course, instead of booking online, you may want to consider saving on hotel rates by looking for cheaper deals on the ground at bed and breakfasts (B & Bs), homestays and holiday homes. ‘hosts, who are more likely to charge in local currency.
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