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AI's Games-special offers get no fliers

delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2010 23:09 IST
Sidhartha Roy
Sidhartha Roy
Hindustan Times
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The empty hotels and deserted markets syndrome during the Commonwealth Games has hit the skies too.

Air India, the official carrier of the Games, is not witnessing any tourist rush despite the attractive tour packages it has been offering for months.

The national carrier had provided special holiday packages for officials, delegates and tourists coming for the mega sporting event. It had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee in October last year, after which bookings were opened.

With one lakh tourists expected to descend on the Capital, the packages were planned to provide them flights, transfers, accommodation, food and local sightseeing across the country. However, there are no takers.

"There have been almost no bookings at all for the past couple of months and there are only a handful of Games visitors taking flights," said a senior airline official who didn't wish to be named.

"With the few bookings, we were aware that there won't be much rush of tourists and no special flights were booked for domestic travel," he added.

Even some of the Games athletes and delegates, who are venturing out of the Capital, are visiting nearby places like Agra and Jaipur by train.

"We don't have any regular flights to Agra, which is proving to be the most popular destination, thanks to Taj Mahal. There is a special train going to Agra for the delegates and they are taking that," the official said.

The Air India spokesman confirmed, "There is no significant rise in the number of tourists during the Commonwealth Games."