If the terrorists behind Pune’s German Bakery blast had meant foreigners to be the primary target, as investigators claim, it appears they failed.
Advance bookings and occupancy rates at major hotels in Pune have not been affected in any way despite the United States, the UK and Australia issuing travel advisories warning their citizens of more such attacks in India. On the contrary, tourist inflow has risen.
The Pune Hoteliers Association (PHA) said foreigners’ bookings for February and March — peak season in the city — has followed the annual trend. Some five-star hotels have seen higher occupancy this February than in the same month last year, with no cancellations reported.
Arun Nayar, PHA president, said: “Many of the visitors to Pune are from the business community. The blast has had no impact on their scheduled visits. The city has seven five-star hotels, with a combined room capacity of up to 3,500. Some of the foreigners, typically regular visitors to the Osho International Commune, live in rented flats in and around the Koregaon Park area.
Vikas Sable, a real estate agent operating in Koregaon Park, said: “Those who have recently rented flats here have not been influenced by the blast. New queries have also been flowing in over the last three days.”
Bookings for tourist destinations near Pune and elsewhere in Maharashtra are full, according to the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation — its regional manager Shipra Hake said: “We haven’t had any cancellation after the blast.”
German couple Nichol Serene and his wife Anjeliena, who arrived in the city on Wednesday, said: “We’ve heard about the blast, but decided to continue with our plans.”