A SIGNIFICANT depreciation of the Indian rupee against the Malaysian ringgit has resulted in stronger outbound demand to South India, with some agencies reporting longer stays and higher budgets for clients during the ongoing Hari Raya festivities till end August.
Travel consultants interviewed by TTG Asia e-Daily said demand for the South Indian cities of Chennai, Kochi and Tiruchirappalli was especially buoyant, catalysed by low fares and direct connections provided by low-cost carriers.
Nantha Travel & Tours managing director, M Nantha Gopal, has seen a 15 per cent increase in business to Chennai, Kochi and Tiruchirapalli from mid-July till end-August. He explained that low airfares offered by budget carriers coupled with ongoing retail sales in South India were driving the growth in demand.
Topaz Travels travel consultant, Sharitha Rajendran, has seen a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in business to South India this Hari Raya season, with the average length of stay rising from four days to six days.
“There is also increased demand for four-star properties, whereas previously the trend was budget accommodation,” she added.
On the flipside, travel consultants reported slower business to Mumbai and New Delhi due to hikes – by some 15 to 20 per cent – in Malaysia Airlines airfares. The flag carrier became the sole operator on the route following AirAsia X's exit earlier this year (TTG Asia e-Daily, January 13, 2012).
– Read more in TTG Asia, Aug 24, 2012 issue