Companies

No impact of Brexit on tourism, says Thomas Cook chief

DEEPANSHU BHANDARI HIRAL DESAI | Updated on January 20, 2018

BL27_P14_THOMAS_COOK







Britain’s exit from the European Union will force global conglomerates to realign their business, rethink on market access and rework currency strategies.








Speaking to Bloomberg TV India, Thomas Cook Chairman and Managing Director Madhavan Menon says the company hedges at all times and Brexit was no different. The tourism business is unlikely to be impacted as an Indian anyway requires two visas to travel to UK and Europe.



Given the Brexit shock, companies may have to rework their strategies now. What’s your exposure to UK and Europe? What’s your outlook on both UK and Europe?

From the foreign exchange business point of view, we remain hedged at all times on a normal day.

So this day is no different. We are fully hedged in all our exposures. We are being extremely careful on how we transact any currency because there is a lot of volatility in the market and we clearly do not want to get caught on the wrong side of the market.

My expectation is that we will wait till the current noise dies down and the volatility reduces before we go ahead and do anything. We do not take any positions in currencies from a speculative point of view.



How do the currency fluctuations and weakening of some of the currencies like the rupee affect tourism business?

We don’t have any pound denominated earnings. All our earnings, which are in international currencies, are immediately converted into Indian rupees.

We don’t have any open exposure in any currencies at all.



What’s your outlook for FY17 with all the evolving developments?

As far as FY17 is concerned, we expect to meet the budget targets. We don’t expect either the Brexit or some of the other events we faced like terrorism in Europe or shootings in Orlando to dramatically impact our business.

My expectation is that markets will revert to normalcy and customers will start planning their holidays again. The good part of the season is already over as far as outbound travel is concerned. The inbound travel starts in October. There is a gap between now and the new seasons. Therefore, I am not particularly worried about the impact of this event (Brexit) because an Indian travelling into Europe or into the United Kingdom still requires two visas.

Therefore, Brexit or no Brexit, that’s not going to change. In my opinion, Brexit does not impact the Indian traveller. As far as the foreign exchange business is concerned, my expectation is that the current volatility will settle down very quickly and markets will return to normal trading.



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Published on June 26, 2016
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