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Currencies & share markets – do travellers really care?

Do currency fluctuations and stock markets put a chill up the travellers spine? Maybe they do, but holidays have become an addiction and can't be kept on hold for too long.

Do currency fluctuations and stock markets put a chill up the travellers spine? Maybe they do, but holidays have become an addiction and can’t be kept on hold for too long.

The last couple of weeks have seen wild variation in currencies, share markets and as a result, sentiment.

So we sent out a call to a list of our agents walled whites who they thought will stop were interested to see if there were any particular trends whether it be timing, events or across region. We got a bigger response than we expected by a long way and so rather than publish everything I’ve just tried to take a cross-section which is representative of what agents had to say when asked: do sharemarket and currency fluctuations affect your customer sentiment?

 

Off to India

travel agent

“Forex fluctuations spook us more than the customer, because it sends all our calculations/quotes haywire, specially in the case of confirmed bookings, where remittances or even a part of it is due. Usually passengers are unwilling to listen.”

“Traveller sentiment is not influenced by stock markets much in my opinion however exchange rate fluctuations indeed have an impact especially on overseas travel as the cost of travel and accommodation changes with every percentage change in Rupee vis-à-vis destination currency.”

“Yes per person budget is going down. There is no negative sentiment in the market which will give us panic signal.”

“Business, at this time which should have been at the speed of Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes, is now at the stuttering speed of the autorickshaws. Both the stock market as well as the exchange rate seems to have kept holidays on hold. This is a temporary phase as holidays in India have now become an addiction and cannot be kept on hold for too long.”

Indian Summary? Forex certainly, stock market maybe. But they will travel regardless.

 

Global Agents – offices in different countries

travel agent

“We have a sense that business volume become more or less paralleled with stock market movement, especially when the day of major market index falls abnormally, incoming booking will become lesser than our expectation.”

Gawin, Hong Kong

“Although the share market rate is obviously fluctuating, it is hard to find its negative effects on our company at present.”

– Albert, China

“Market was definitely affected. Some travelers, especially leisure ones, had to cancel or rebook. Everything is on a standstill, waiting, observing but of course, for some, life must go on.”

– Bernice, Philippines


Finally, a little news from home

Sydney tourists

“Dollar for sure had an affect. Share market only if something like the GFC that does really scare people off.”

“Stock market really had nil effect on booking patterns, certainly the fall in the AUD$ against the USD$ effected some clients booking patterns and hotel choices for USA based trips.   A few clients were more selective.”

“I have found that some of my clients are dubious about making bookings at the moment due to the dollar dropping. Many of them are advising me that they will wait a little bit longer before they make a final decision and locking in their holiday.”

“I am bit concerned about the exchange rate but again, we are not much effecting with the share market etc. I can see we have some niche market that who loves to go. If Thailand or Bali or just Europe then it may cause for sure.

Unsurprisingly, go to blue chip agencies or suburbs and the responses are more like:

“Our clients don’t seem to worry about stock market prices or the exchange rate.Most have decided they are travelling and to where they are travelling to and will go regardless.  Their comments are usually along the lines of “what can you do about it.”

“Both these things do not affect my clients decision to travel. We all get 4 weeks a year and many others get more.  Australian’s travel all the time and nothing usually stop them from travelling.”

“We are seeing that clients are more aware of and concerned by the declining value of the Australian dollar, particularly against the USD. Some are querying the possibility of fare changes due to currency fluctuation prior to depositing their cruise holiday arrangements. That said, business is still very buoyant and we are able to upsell the benefits of cruising with the more inclusive brands so that there are fewer surprise costs when travelling.”

“The ‘crazy stock market’ seems to be less of an issue for our clients.”

 

My fave?

money travel

“In times of economic strength, clients feel justified in enjoying the boom and heading O/S.”

“Interestingly though, during a downturn I’ve noticed that travellers find solace in the bliss afforded by boarding a plane, and claims it as their one guilty pleasure while cutting down on most other financial output.”

“However most Aussies prefer to consciously ignore the impact that a falling AUD or decreasing portfolio value has on their next getaway, and continue to invest in the one activity we’re universally known for: leaving home.”

 

So what do we make of all this?

Seems globally:

  • Exchange rate definitely puts people on edge
  • Stockvmarket, unless in Asia, not such an impact
  • But the effects are short term

People will still travel.

Do you think people still travel despite the stock market and exchange change?