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Too little, too late?

delhi Updated: Sep 29, 2010 23:20 IST
Mallica Joshi

The city's affair with 'Bed and Breakfast' facilities seems to have gone sour as most owners do not have any bookings, from national or international tourists, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

"I have had no Games related booking or enquiries for rooms during the first two weeks of October. Why will foreigners want to come to India? The government has done nothing to make their stay pleasant," said Vinay Kumar Aggarwal, who has a B 'n' B in Connaught Place.

Most other B 'n' B owners have similar experiences. "What can I tell you? Despite October being a very popular month with international tourists, there are no bookings," said Rashmi Ahuja, whose facility is in Golf Links.

The Delhi Government had kicked off the scheme in 2007 with fanfare to help accommodate tourists in the city during the Games. Till date, there are more than 400 registered facilities and 1,300 rooms under the schemes. The original target was of 3,000 rooms.

But for some like Parul Puri, a resident of Jungpura, the experience has been pleasant. "All the rooms in my house are completely booked," said Puri.

The negative publicity of the Games, many believe, is the biggest dampner for their B 'n' B scheme along with the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities in publicising the scheme.

"I have not had a single booking through the Delhi Tourism website since I opened the facility two years back. The Games mess has also added to the apprehensions of tourists all over the world," said Dinesh Kapur, whose B 'n' B is in Gulmohar Park.

The Delhi Tourism officials had planned to launch a website ahead of the Games to make the scheme popular but it failed.

"The site could not come up but we have come out with brochures and advertisements. Our volunteers will start distributing it from Friday," said Reena Ray, managing director, Delhi Tourism Development Corporation.