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Bangkok has More Hotel Rooms than Delhi, Mumbai put together
Monday, April 07, 2008

Bangkok has more hotel rooms than both New Delhi and Mumbai put together, a critical shortage that has made tourist accommodation expensive and is driving away international conferences to South East Asian destinations.

While Thailand's capital Bangkok, a major tourist destination, has 60,000 hotel rooms, the hotel rooms in New Delhi and Mumbai are 20,000 and 25,000 respectively, pointed out a recent report on the services sector prepared by the Planning Commission. The shortage of hotel rooms has pushed the tariffs to "to unprecedented levels", thus making it unaffordable for the upper middle class travelers, the report said.

In addition to Delhi and Mumbai, the report pointed out an "extreme shortage" of hotel rooms is also being felt in Bangalore and Goa, the other important business and tourist destinations in the country.

"India's incompetitiveness for holding international meetings and conferences has been seriously affected and many of them whose first preference was to hold them in India moved to South East Asia on cost consideration," the Commission report added. In addition to the luxury hotels, the country also faces acute shortage of budget hotels and according to the plan panel's estimates, the shortfall in tourist accommodation was likely to increase to 1.5 lakh rooms by 2010. The shortfall in the budget category is likely to be around one lakh rooms, the report said.

In spite of the Tourism Ministry's much-talked ambitious 'Incredible India' campaign launched few years ago, India still has a long way to match the inflow of tourists, which other important tourist destinations receive.

While India received 4.4 million tourists in 2006, 49.2 million visited China, 17.5 million Malaysia, 15.8 million Hong Kong, 13.9 million Thailand and 10.7 million Macau. India was ranked 11 in the international tourist arrivals in Asia and Pacific region, the report said.

Although India can take some comfort from the fact that the country's share in international tourists arrivals has increased by 0.52 per cent in 2006, "India figures low in hierarchy of attractiveness of tourist destinations even in the region and some countries with much less variety in tourism products," the report added.

It suggested various steps like easing of land-use norms, tax incentives, and removal of procedural impediments to encourage development of tourism industry.



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