The Great Britain’s shock exit from the European Union has left much in the realm of speculation, as markets registered steep fall in the value of Pound Sterling. Experts also remain concerned about the future of free movement across European countries. The development, however, presents itself with a great opportunity for the Indian outbound, both leisure and student segments, to make the most pocket-friendly travel, thanks to a substantially cheaper currency.
News of the Great Britain leaving the European Union has come as a rude shock for markets world over. Stock exchanges are in red – as much as two trillion dollars were wiped off in matter of hours after the announcement. A fair degree of uncertainty looms over the future of the Great Britain and, indeed, the European Union, as many believe that it will trigger a domino effect leading to more nations taking the same route in the near future.
However, all is not gloomy. The development has plenty of positives for improved tourism and travel into Britain from India and vice versa. Take a look at this: currently, one Pound Sterling stands at INR 91.23 – which is a substantial dip from its usual standing of INR 99-100. Financial experts believe that while Britain irons out formalities for its formal exit from the EU, one Pound could reach as low as INR 84-85, making travel to the Great Britain comprehensively cheaper than before. While the leisure segment is likely to immediately benefit from this phenomenon, it is also expected that students – who form a significant number – heading for the British shores will find studying and living cheaper than before. According to an estimate over Indian 10,000 students join graduation colleges across Britain.
Reacting to the shock news of Brexit, Aloke Bajpai, Co-founder and CEO, Ixigo.com attributed steep fall in the value of Sterling Pound to panic selling. Calling it a primary impact of the outcome of referendum, he said “There is a panic in the market and fearing the situation to go worse, a number of investors are engaged in heavy sell-off”. Adding that the immediate impact was going keep the currency at a lower level for coming months, he concurred that travelling into Britain, especially for the coming few months was going to be a lot cheaper.
Arguing that currency fall aside, the secondary impact of this political upheaval had ramifications on airfare pricing, he said that expecting gloomy days ahead, a number of investors were buying gold and selling off oil in the commodity market. “Oil- prices were anyways on the lower side, but it looks like air travel will remain cheaper in the foreseeable future, as oil dips again,” he elaborated. He further added that its impact was going to reflect on lower international fares, further easing outbound travel and tourism.
He, however, cautioned that volatility was likely and said that it remained to be seen whether there would be any impact on free movement within the European region. “Exit is being negotiated. Bureaucratic processes will take their own time. It will be interesting to see whether there is an actual impact on free movement across borders. As far as visa requirements are concerned, Indians anyways needed a separate visa and Britain operates out of the realm of Schengen visa policy. So, the biggest worry is curtailment of free movement,” he said.
Taking stock of the road ahead, he believed that despite temporary hick-ups, tourism from Britain was going to remain intact. “Brexit or not, India remains a less-expensive and an affordable destination for British tourists. It is likely to remain to the same. Therefore, I do not foresee any major change in trend therein,” said the CEO.