Poor tourist arrivals for the Commonwealth Games, beginning Sunday, have left bed & breakfast providers in the national capital a disappointed lot.
Bed & breakfast (B&B) lodgings, which multiplied across the city ahead of the mega-sporting event in anticipation of a massive influx of guests, were banking on the CWG to charge handsome rent for rooms and make hefty profits.
However, with many Commonwealth countries expressing dissatisfaction with infrastructure and security arrangements made by the organising committee for the Games, the B&B providers' hopes have been dashed.
Even hotels, which were asked to keep rooms ready by the government for the expected inflow of tourists, have not seen any increase in business due to the CWG.
"We were looking forward to the CWG for an influx of guests, but it has not happened. We didn't get much tourists coming to our place for the CWG. We are a bit disappointed," said Pradeep Khemani, the co-promoter of Vandana's Bed and Breakfast at Safdarjung Enclave, in South Delhi.
Some regular guests have also cancelled their trip to the capital, perhaps due to the negative publicity in the build-up to the Games, he added.
"Yet, we are lucky to have bookings from guests, who are not related to the games," Khemani said.
Others face a similar plight. "There is no booking from tourists related to the CWG. We do have our old customers," Vinay Kumar Aggarwal, the owner of Atithi Delhi in Connaught Place, remarked tersely.
An official of Delhi Bed and Breakfast, Friends Colony East, on the condition of anonymity, said the negative publicity over the Games had an adverse impact on B&B business.
"There has not been any booking from tourists related to CWG. Yes, it is a different matter that our old guests have expressed interest to watch the Games," the official said.
B&B tariffs range from Rs 2,500 per night for a single bed to Rs 5,500 per night for double occupancy, though the providers said that in many cases, they offer a discount of 10-20 per cent to loyal customers.
The scenario is not different for hoteliers either.
"We were asked to book 100 rooms in the hotel for the CWG tourists, but they have not been utilised at all. So finally, they were released," Radisson Hotel Delhi Managing Director Ramesh Kapur said.
According to Kapur, even after the CWG, hotel occupancy across India is not likely to go up substantially.
However, according to Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India Secretary General Harish Sud, hoteliers expect to see more occupancy in the coming season than in the last two years.
"A lot of capacity has been created in terms of new hotels and the expansion of existing ones. It was all planned for the future, not only for the Games," Sud added.