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Why you should head to Europe for your next holiday

Adith Charlie Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 20, 2015

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Cheaper euro turns EU the hotspot; currency has dipped 24% against rupee



You could save over ₹16,000 on a trip to Paris, Rome or Athens this summer. Travelling to Euro Zone countries has become around 20 per cent cheaper from 2014 largely due to the plunging euro. Over the past 12 months, the currency has depreciated by 24 per cent against the rupee; it closed at 66.89 today.

Simply put, if a family of four paid ₹82,000 or €1,000 per head last year for a travel package, now the outgo would be ₹66,000 for the same amount of euro. This translates into savings of ₹64,000 per family.

“Customers who were planning to holiday in a short-haul destination are now pitching in a little extra money and actively considering Europe as an option. Itineraries increasingly include two-three European destinations,” said Neelu Singh, Chief Operating Officer of Ezeego1.com, an online travel agency.

A weak euro also means that travellers pay less for shopping, dining and other miscellaneous expenses. “We have seen a 77 per cent jump in bookings to popular European cities,” said Amit Taneja, Chief Revenue Officer at Cleartrip.com.

Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings, said that his company saw a rise of 15-20 per cent in bookings over last year. At Ezeego1, winter bookings have shot up by 15-20 per cent even though the December-February period is considered a lean season for travel to European countries.

Reducing fares

Airlines too have done their bi, by reducing fares to Europe. Paris and Zurich (Switzerland) seem to have benefited the most with airfares dipping by 12 and 17 per cent, respectively, year-on-year, according to Taneja. (Zurich, where the local currency is Swiss Francs, is a popular hub for Indians travelling to other cities in the Euro Zone.)

Data from Cleartrip show that the average return fare to Zurich from Mumbai/Delhi (for bookings made in February/March) was ₹36,752 against ₹44,239 last year. For Paris, it had dropped to ₹40,676 from ₹46,108.

“While the UK, Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany continue to top the list of destinations, Spain, Scandinavia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Vienna and are fast emerging as strong contenders,” said Shibani Phadkar, Senior Vice-President - Products & Operations, Thomas Cook (India).

The euro has been losing ground to its global peers since the European Central Bank announced late last year that it was launching its own quantitative easing programme.

Published on March 20, 2015
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