- International travellers switch within the hotel category to offset adverse exchange rates
- Searches through Wego rise to Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai, Sydney and New York despite currency concerns
- Leisure travel focusses on off-season South East Asian destinations and responds to deals
Bangalore, June 20th, 2012: Users of travel metasearch site wego.co.in are reflecting the country’s growing concern over the impact of the exchange rate depreciation on international travel. Travellers are searching harder to find the best flight and hotel deals online, scrutinizing every option.
Analysis of the data trails of users of the Wego site that compares the inventory of hundreds of different travel sites simultaneously, including Expedia, ClearTrip, Stayzilla, Arzoo and others, illustrates how travellers are working to reduce their costs.
In Bangkok, 12 months ago the Rupee was under Rp 1.5 to the Thai Baht. Now it is 1.7. Regardless, hotel bookings as a percentage of the total for international destinations have risen almost 2 per cent – and the volume has doubled on Wego, attracted by deals and packages rather than downgrades and in turn assisting the city’s recovery following damaging floods.
Phuket and particularly Pattaya are enjoying much more attention due to low season prices, and airfares at half the cost of those to Bali. Pattaya has risen from under 1 to a strong 4 per cent of international hotel bookings, with the Amari Orchid Hotel at Rp 4,662 per night and Ibis at Rs 2,461 currently the most popular.
In Singapore, where the exchange has fallen from Rp 36 to Rp 43 to the Singapore dollar over the last year, bookings through wego.co.in have risen 110 per cent while the proportion of travellers heading to the Lion City has remained steady, but the ranking of properties has shown a dramatic change. Fashionable Marina Bay Sands, the top 5-star hotel choice at Rs 18,120 per night has been toppled by much more affordable Holiday Inn Atrium at Rp 6,116.
Dubai appears to be tolerating adverse exchange rates with apartments the most popular; a favourite costing Rs 2,262 per night. Wego General Manager for India, Jackson Fernandez speculated that this could be due to a surge in the number of Indian businesses setting up offices there, coupled with greater take-up of overseas contract work linked to US Dollar or other hard currency pay.
Sydney hotel bookings through wego.co.in have quadrupled year on year, with the city gaining a greater 1.5 per cent share of all international reservations on Wego. The rupee has adjusted from 48 to the Australian dollar to 54, making it a much more expensive destination. However, the Holiday Inn Darling Harbour is winning business with a generous 30 per cent discount offer on room rates, more than compensating for the exchange.
Both New York and London also remain favoured destinations, but even at the luxury end such as the popular Grand Hyatt at Rs 19,590, Indian users are making the effort to shop around. In London, it’s the same, with ultra-modern The Cumberland just off Marble Arch ranking first with Wego users. Bargain hunting at this level and at these locations really is a sign of the times.
The clear trend that wego.co.in is showing is that Indians are still travelling, but adjusting their options within the same category of accommodation and examining airlines for the smallest variances in fare rather than cancelling plans. As Fernandez concluded:
“For Wego, this pressure on rates and fares is a boon. The purpose of our metasearch technology is to help travellers compare their options so that they save time and money when planning a trip. They just need to be more careful in their choices of supplier and booking partner. Wego.co.in is performing exactly as intended, and doing its job.”
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Considered the ideal site to begin planning travel, Wego.com gives travellers a complete view of available flights, hotels, travel packages and deals from hundreds of travel websites in the time that it takes to search just one. The latest pricing, availability and reviews are shown, with tools provided to select the cheapest days to fly and to find the best hotel offers. Travellers then simply click through to the partner websites to book. Wego.com was founded in 2005 by former executives of InterContinental Hotels Group, Yahoo!, Priceline and ZUJI. Investors include News Digital Media and Tiger Global. In 2010, Wego merged with HolidayIQ.com, an established India based travel content and community site. For more information, please visit http: www.wego.com/about