With British travel giant Thomas Cook going belly up, India’s inbound travel could be severely hit and hence adverse impact on foreign exchange (forex) earning too in the months to come.
Travel industry sources said that Thomas Cook sends a lot of high-spending tourists to India from countries such as UK, Germany and France. Countries like UK, Germany and Italy where Thomas Cook has good presence are the key source markets for India.
“The shutdown of Thomas Cook would certainly impact inbound travel. The whole travel industry is struggling,” said Harjinder Singh, Director of Delhi-based 24*7 Travels.com.
As per the latest official data, UK’s share into India’s total foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) was 8.01 per cent in August, 2019.
Among the top European source markets, German tourists accounted for 1.85 per cent of the total FTAs in the previous month. The total FTAs in August 2019 were 7,98,587 as compared to 7,86,003 in August 2018 registering a growth of 1.6 per cent.
With global slowdown casting its shadow on travel business, the FTA growth is likely to be tepid in coming months. With one of the world’s top travel firm Thomas Cook going bankrupt, the travel business is certainly going to see tough time.
While Thomas Cook India is a completely separate entity from Thomas Cook UK post acquisition in 2012 by Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings, reaching out each wary customer following the recent development would not be easy for the Indian firm.
“With the recent developments relating to the iconic British Travel Company, Thomas Cook PLC, being reported in the media, it is imperative to highlight that Thomas Cook India Group is a completely different entity since August 2012 when it was acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings (Fairfax), a Canada-based multinational with varied interests across the globe as well as in India,” Thomas Cook India said in a statement allaying fears of its clients and customers.
An industry insider, however, said it is a big task for Thomas Cook India to convince common people that it is not related to the ailing UK travel firm.
He further said that most of the organized players in the travel sector was struggling due to slowdown as travel spend is the first thing people put a break on when going is tough. Besides, the demand has already been low and the same reflects in the FTA data compiled by the government.