Indian Market & Trends

Quake diverts traffic to southern, western hill stations

AHMEDABAD

Saturday’s earthquake in scenic Nepal has driven the Himalayan tourist to other hill stations across the country. It’s not just Nepal tourism that is hit, but also tour operators in India who feel that in accommodating last moment changes in the itinerary, their margins would take a hit.

According to travel agency iTraveller.com, not only trips to Nepal, but tourists are jittery about going to other Himalayan destinations as well, reports Business Standard.

Shiju Radhakrishnan, Founder & CEO, iTraveller.com said, “Like every summer, this time around over 40 per cent of the travellers who planned and booked their trip on iTraveller.com was about to head towards the Himalayan destinations. Although Nepal was a minority within that, the impact was larger and drastic because trips are getting cancelled for destinations like Himachal, Darjeeling and Uttaranchal as well.”

He added that this is in addition to the blow taken by Kashmir, which used to account for over 20 per cent of the transactions in previous years. “For domestic travellers in summer, Himalayan destinations have been a top of the mind recall due to their affordability, which we hope will shift towards hill stations in South India and foreign destinations of South East Asia and Europe. For now, we’ve been able to accommodate their requests for cancellations by moving them to alternative destinations without any additional burden on customers,” Radhakrishnan said adding that the value loss of business, so far is around Rs 22-23 lakh and more cancellations are expected.

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