Hospitality industry not prepared for Commonwealth Games: FHRAI

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Mumbai, Aug 21 (UNI) The hospitality industry may be not be prepared in time for Commonwealth Games, to be held in New Delhi in 2010, according to Federation of Hotel&Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI).

Speaking to mediapersons here today, Sunit Kothari, Executive Member of FHRAI (Western Region) said unless the government simplified and speeded up the process, New Delhi will not be able to provide the 12,000 rooms necessary to host guests and athletes.

''There is no way a big hotel can be built with all the licences in the remaining time. We need a nodal agency with a single window to speed up preparations for the Games,'' Mr Kothari said.

A factor that can salvage the industry and the government is the growth of meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions (MICE) tourism that could reduce the cost for visitors, he said.

''Indian hotels are overpriced with rates of 300-500 dollars a night against 150 dollar for other countries, and MICE, which is a 500 million dollar sector, should be promoted aggressively,'' observed Platinum Incentives&Events Ltd's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sushil Wadhwa. His city-based company specialiSes in arranging MICE tourism.

According to Mr Wadhwa, while visitors staying in the upmarket establishments will savour their experience, the budget tourists may face a number of problems including accomodation, conveyance and food.

The inbound tourism in India is worth USD 3-4 billion annually.

UNI ZC SSS MP RAI2138

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