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Airfares to cities like Paris and Zurich have also plummeted

New Delhi, April 13, 2015 - This summer, bookings to European destinations are witnessing a jump due to a decline in the euro. Travel companies say the cost of packages has come down with cities such as Paris and Zurich seeing a drop in airfares. On Monday, a euro was worth about Rs.68, while a year ago it was around Rs.82.

Amit Taneja, Cleartrip’s Chief Revenue Officer, said: “We witnessed 77 per cent jump in bookings against last year to popular European cities. As the euro dipped this season, air fares to cities like Paris and Zurich have seen a phenomenal drop, some falling by 12 to 17 per cent.”

For instance, a family of four booking on Cleartrip for Paris, stands to save almost Rs.23,644 on their total airfare if booked for this April-May, he added.

As the euro has depreciated by almost 15 per cent over the year, Sharat Dhall, President of Yatra.com, said the portal has seen an increase in the bookings by 15-20 per cent.

New favourites

Destinations such as Turkey, Greece and even Japan and South Korea, which were earlier not chosen in large numbers, are now being explored widely, Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia India, said.

“Flight Shop has seen a 22 per cent increase in bookings for travel to Europe compared to last year. With benefits in package cost due to prevailing rates impacting travel spends, tourists are eager to re-align their holiday budget allocations.

Consequently, Indian travellers are spending more on shopping and leisure experiences,” said Vicki Parris, National Brand Leader India, Flight Shop.

‘Ancillary services’

“We have also seen a rise in demand for inclusion of ancillary services such as exotic dining and local experiences in the basic packages,” Parris added.

New destinations emerging strongly on the radar over and above traditional favourites such as Switzerland, France, Germany and the UK are Spain, Greece, Czech Republic and Hungary, said Jatinder Paul Singh, Senior Vice-President & Head, Sales & Distribution Leisure Travel (Outbound), Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

“Besides Europe, we are witnessing interest for Dubai, Thailand and Hong-Kong, while Bali and Sri Lanka are emerging as new favourites,” added, Mohit Gupta, Head-Online Business, MakeMyTrip.com. Business Line

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