Indian travellers would benefit from the Brexit, as the decline of the British pound will make travel to the UK more affordable, industry stakeholders have said.
The Indian Express reported Sharat Dhall, president of travel portal Yatra.com, as saying that Indian operators could see “a surge in leisure tourism to Britain, as it will become significantly cheaper”.
While the UK’s decision to opt out of the European Union was largely based on concerns about immigration, it may actually lead to an increase in visitation from other countries, including students who might choose the UK as a destination for cheaper education.
According to data from VisitBritain, a total of 422,409 Indians visited the UK in 2015, spending 9.22 million nights in the country with an average length-of-stay of 21.8 nights. Their average spend per visit was INR93,219 (US$1,373).
Anil Khandelwal, chief financial officer of Cox & Kings, also agreed that in the short-term at least, the UK could see an upturn in arrivals from India. “The pound has depreciated against the rupee. This would mean that travel to the UK will be cheaper for Indian travellers. This will aid our outbound business for the remainder of the year,” he said.
A spokesperson for MakeMyTrip however, said it “wouldn’t be ideal to speculate” so soon after the Brexit.
“With the pound dropping, there is a possibility that we will see an increased number of travellers from India to Britain. The long-term impact on business travel and trade relations remains to be seen,” the spokesperson said.
The visa situation for Indian travellers will not change, as Indians already needed separate visas for the UK and EU.