AP Out Of Bounds For Business Visitors During Afro-Asian Games

Hyderabad, Oct 9: | Updated: Oct 10 2003, 05:30am hrs
Business visitors beware! Any plans to visit the cyber city of Hyderabad between October 24 and November 1, 2003, may not be all that easy as all the hotels (three star, four star and five star) have been fully booked by the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh for the nine-day Afro-Asian Games.

Chances of getting accomodation in the 20-odd guest houses in and around city are also difficult as they too have been booked en masse for the games. As over 2000 delegates, including athelets, sportspersons, officials and other dignatories from over 90-odd countries apart from India are expected to participate in the event, the state government authorities have not even spared the accommodation facilities available in institutions like Indian School of Business (ISB), International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), MANAGE (National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management), etc.

The state government is making special efforts to find accomodation for a team of officials from the World Bank who are slated to visit the state around that time.

"We are putting in all efforts to see that the prestigeous event goes off well without any problem in accommodation," Mr Sabyasachi Ghosh, special officer in-charge of Afro-Asian Games told The Financial Express.

When contacted five-star hotels such as ITC Kakatiya Sheraton, Taj Group of Hotels, Viceroy Hotel have confirmed that the state government has booked almost all the rooms except few for visiting business delegates. Says Mr B R Manohar, head (sales & marketing), Viceroy: "Of the total 135 rooms the Sports Authority has already blocked nearly 100 rooms for the delegates." As the event is a prestigeous one, the hotel management thought of honouring the state government's request for bulk accommodation in Viceroy, he added.

"We have also informed the corporates, particularly the IT companies in Hyderabad about the non-availability of accommodation during the period and advised them to inform their counterparts abroad or other places," he said.

According to a marketing official of ITC Grand Kakatiya, "we have blocked 80 per cent of the total 188 rooms exlusively for the Afro-Asian Games delegates as requested by the Sports Authority."

"We also feel this is important for us to help the state government in conducting the prestigeous event without any accommodation problem," the official pointed out.

"We are here to provide the VIP welcome to the visiting sports delegates and we are honoured to be part of the prestigeous event," said Mr Vir Vijay Singh, GM, Taj Group of Hotels. Of the total 550 rooms, Taj Group has already blocked over 300 rooms exclusively for the Afro-Asian Games. As requested by the government, the Taj Group has offered rooms at special rates. "All the 20-odd major and mid-sized hotels are happy to be part of the Afro-Asian Games," Mr Singh said.

To ensure that the game draws the best atheletic talent, the state government is in the process of arranging chartered international flights to bring in athelets who are presently participating in the African Games.