Some of the basic infrastructure projects being readied for the 2010 Commonwealth Games might be floundering, but there is one industry that is looking up.
In the run up to the games, Delhi and the National Capital Region (Gurgaon, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad) would get eight five-star hotels and 30 two, three and four-star (budget) hotels.
Together, they will add 12,300 new hotel rooms. Of these, in the last one year, two five star deluxe hotels, Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon and Aman, New Delhi and three five-star hotels, Carlson Group's Country Inns and Suites in Sahibabad, Crowne Plaza Today, Okhla
and The Galaxy Hotel, Gurgaon have already become operational. A section of the Leela Hotel coming up in Delhi would be ready in time for the games.
The Union Tourism Ministry has recently finished the process of classifying these hotels. Hospitality experts say that this increase in new hotels — the first in over two decades — would tide over the shortage of decent hotel rooms and would go a long way in ensuring competitive rates and making these cities favourable destination for both business and leisure traveller.
“It's a good sign. The new supply will help stabilise the unusually high room rates. It will give a fillip to tourism,” said Manav Thadani, Managing Director of HVS International, a hospitality service firm.
Delhi, however, seems to have missed the bus once again.
A majority — over 70 per cent of the new rooms that are coming up, are in Gurgaon.
Poor planning and delay in implementing projects has meant that Delhi would get just 1,500 new rooms as against the original target of 6,000.
“To attract investors to build hotels, you have to make it sustainable. You have to rationalise the land prices, which are way too high in the Capital, driving away investors,” said Sudeep Jain, executive vice-president, Jones LangLasalle Hotels, a hotel advisory group.
According to the Tourism Ministry, Delhi and NCR would be able to provide 41,029 rooms for accommodating the one lakh tourists expected to turn up during the Games.
These include the 12,322 new rooms, 10,161 existing hotel rooms, 11,399 rooms from guest houses and 2,138 rooms from Bed & Breakfast facilities.
However, the ministry has expressed reservations about the 5,000 rooms coming up in Vasant Kunj, where DDA flats are being converted into studio apartments to accommodate guests.
“It does not appear likely that all the rooms would be ready on time,” said an official.