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Rupal Shukla would describe her recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey, to be a shopper’s paradise, all thanks to the plunge in the country’s currency lira. “I bought leather shoes for 800 (when converted from lira to INR) from a popular local departmental store LC Waikiki in Turkey. The same shoes would typically cost 2,000-2,500," she said.

1 Turkish lira (TRY) is equal to nearly 4.6, as on 17 December. Six months ago, the value of INR against TRY was 8.48, while a year back it was more than double at 9.65.

“I was able to shop a lot as consumer products priced in lira were quite cheap when converted in INR," Shukla added.

But this slump is unlikely to translate into a substantial fall in the overall travel budget to Turkey. This is especially true if you buy a holiday package from a travel agency.

Mint spoke to three travel companies that provide tour packages to international destinations to find out that there hasn’t been a notable difference in the pricing of tour packages to Turkey or other countries whose value of currency has slid in the past few months. “Our rates for hotels and tours are contracted in USD for the entire season and hence, such fluctuations in the exchange rate do not really see an impact," said Rajeev Kale, president and country head, holidays, MICE, Visa - Thomas Cook (India).

Rikant Pittie, co-founder, EaseMyTrip, concurred. “For the Turkey market, we deal in euro and USD only and we have not seen any fall in prices of holiday packages for now. Hotels in the country continue to charge in euro and USD without reducing their prices," he said.

Shukla corroborated these findings. “There was a marginal decline in hotel prices, but limited to only 13-20%. Most hotels usually use the base currency of USD or euro, so unless a hotel is basing its fare in lira, travellers won’t see a huge shift in pricing," she said.

If we look at airfare, Daniel D’Souza, president and country head, SOTC Travel, said that too hasn’t changed compared to pre-covid times.

“The airfare to Istanbul from Mumbai and Delhi currently ranges around 45,000 to 50,000, which is approximately in the same range as compared to 2019."

Currency depreciation can be beneficial for do-it-yourself (DIY) travellers as their spending power on local expenses will increase.

“Depreciation in lira will be beneficial to customers when they exchange their money in local currency for transportation, shopping, experiences and dining," said D’Souza.

However, that may still not make a considerable difference to the overall budget as airfare and lodging cost, both of which make up the major chunk of a travel budget, will remain unchanged. Of course, instead of booking online, you can look at saving on hotel fare by hunting for cheaper deals on the ground in beds and breakfasts (B&Bs), homestays and guest houses, which are more likely to charge in the local currency.

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