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Falling tariffs make foreign vacations cheaper

The fall in tariff gains importance as accommodation costs are about half of all the vacation-related expenses of Indian travellers

In 2015, Indian travellers benefitted from a steep fall in 4- and 5-star hotel tariffs across Europe, North America and Asia, according to the latest hotel price index from Hotels.com.

The steepest fall was in Istanbul, where tariff for 4-star hotels came down 23% between 2014 and 2015. While the average tab per night was Rs9,095 in 2014, it fell to Rs7,028 in 2015. For 5-star hotels in Istanbul, the tariff declined 17%.

The fall in tariffs gains importance as accommodation costs are about half of all the vacation-related expenses of Indian travellers. “Hotel charges are about 45% of the overall travel pie.... This could be even higher, and we’ve seen this for the luxury segment where the hotel or resort is often the destination," said Rajeev Kale, president and country head, leisure travel, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

Other locations where tariff fell include: Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich in Germany; Rome, Venice and Florence in Italy; Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Bali in Indonesia.

While it is not clear if the tariffs continue to be low in all these cities, Hotels.com said that there has been a further decline at least in Kuala Lumpur and Florence. In the first half of 2016, these two cities saw a decline of 15% and 21%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2015.

At the same time, according to Hotels.com, tariffs have also moved upwards in some other locations for 5-star hotels. Tokyo in Japan saw a jump 27% in first half of 2016 against same period in 2015. Pattaya in Thailand and New York in the US saw tariffs go up by 10% and 9%, respectively.

Kale said that apart from the upfront price, other aspects that need to be considered are: hotel’s policies relating to cancellation, rebooking or changes; whether price of items includes taxes; and whether breakfast is priced in the room rent.

“These could become a substantial amount during the check-out," he said.

Moreover, while booking hotels for travel or vacation, you should also take in to consideration the proximity to prime sightseeing spots, train or metro stations, and facilities like breakfast and the hotel’s shuttle services.

This information is not too difficult to come by. “Increasingly, reviews and testimonials and word-of-mouth feedback are gaining importance for the Indian traveler," Kale said.

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