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Safety of high-profile hotel guests in focus

Wednesday night’s terrorist attacks at south Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel and Oberoi-Trident Hotel have raised a question mark on the security of high-profile guests and foreign tourists at 5-star hotels, reports Lalatendu Mishra.

business Updated: Nov 27, 2008 21:14 IST
Lalatendu Mishra

Wednesday night’s terrorist attacks at south Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel and Oberoi-Trident Hotel have raised a question mark on the security of high-profile guests and foreign tourists at 5-star hotels. But experts say that they are as safe or unsafe as any other prominent place in India.

“There is very rigorous security at every 5-star hotel,” said Partha Chatterjee, director, Berggruen Hotels. “But if a person has intent of killing and enters by opening indiscriminate firing, then no security can prevent it.”

Five star hotels have multi-layered security like mental detectors, close circuit TV cameras, vehicle access system and internal security procedures. Marriott, which has the highest level of security, has even a dog squad and a buffer zone to thwart such attacks. In the past few months Taj had substantially enhanced its security. But like all others, it was not certainly equipped to handle such a deadly attack.

“Hotels are not fortresses,” said Julian Gulien Groom, CEO & executive director, DB Hospitality. “They are for welcoming guests. Everybody has been following certain standards and now it has to be improved.”