Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Delhi hoteliers threaten to boycott Commonwealth Games

Hotel owners in Paharganj in Delhi are up in arms against the government and the Commonwealth Games (CWG) organisers.

The hotel owners have threatened to boycott the CWG, if the government does not offer them any help. This could create a huge crisis as the area has close to 30,000 low-budget hotel rooms, which are a huge hit with backpackers from around the world.

"All we are telling the government is that when they can spend Rs 140 crore to upgrade and renovate the Ashoka Hotel, why can't they help the hotels here, which will be hosting a majority of the visitors to the city," said Arun Gupta, secretary general of the Delhi Hotel Mahasangh.

"We are not asking the government to dole out free money, all we want is some subsidy and some low interest loans so that we can carry out renovation, make it aesthetic and upgrade facilities in our hotels," added Gupta

"Frontage of most hotels could be made better and aesthetic. If the foreigners come here and are happy, will it not be good for the country and the government's image? Besides not all hotels require help, only 35 per cent of them actually need support from the government," said Gupta.

The authorities on the other hand have a different take on the issue. "The government is providing all kinds of help to better facilities and also in upgrading civic amenities at these locations. However, I won't be able to comment on what help the tourism department of the Union Government is providing to the hotels," said Narayan Swami, special advisor, Commonwealth Games 2010.

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