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Delhi's Aerocity eyes tourists, business travellers turfed out of city hotels because of G20 Summit

Delhi's Aerocity eyes tourists, business travellers turfed out of city hotels because of G20 Summit
New Delhi, The G20 Summit will create 1,500 room nights of business for city hotels on each of the three days of the powwow, which will see heads of government of the member states and nine invitee nations checking in along with their official delegations, security personnel, airline personnel and media corps.

Additionally, at least 14 multilateral organisations such as the IMF and World Bank will be present during the summit. And the 23 hotels shortlisted by the Ministry of External Affairs expect G20-related business in the days before and after the summit, for the trickle of officials is expected to start at least a week before the big event.

According to hospitality industry sources, US President Joe Biden, in the tradition of previous visiting American heads of state, will stay at the ITC Maurya, which will see a cordon sanitaire descend upon it on the days of the summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will check into the Taj Palace, the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Shangri-La, and French President Emmanuel Macron at The Claridges. The Taj Mahal Hotel is likely to host the UAE delegation and the Saudi Arabians are expected to take over The Leela Palace.

Key, security-cleared hotel staff, according to industry insiders, will also be staying over at their places of employment in view of the curfew-like traffic restrictions that will be in force across the city during the summit.

Of course, the bulk of this business will go to what are known as the city-centre hotels, but the Aerocity establishments, which collectively boast of 3,600 keys, are not wringing their hands in despair.

In the words of Vineet Mishra, Cluster General Manager, Pullman and Novotel, Aerocity: "City centre hotels for sure are reaping the choicest rewards, but the Aerocity is also getting its fair share, be it from the overflow of bookings or from regular travellers who seek value without compromising on quality."

Mishra added: "Aerocity hotels are catering to a fair amount of spillover bookings, many of which are for the media teams travelling along with support functions."

And what will happen to regular travellers as well as international tourists scheduled to go back to their home countries on the summit days? Ashwni Kumar Goela, Area General Manager, Radisson Hotel Group (South Asia), has the answer.

"Apart from the designated hotels in Delhi hosting the G20 delegates, there are numerous other hotels across the city where regular guests can find accommodation," Goela said.

"Additionally, neighbouring areas like Gurugram and Noida also boast of hotels that can provide quality accommodation to visitors seeking a place to stay in Delhi-NCR."

Whether at the city centre or at the Aerocity, hotel chiefs, however, are more excited about the future doors that the summit is likely to open up for the industry.

As Mishra put it: "The summit's influence on the Delhi-NCR hotel business is anticipated to be substantial, with a period of high occupancy driven by the official event, advance teams, and extended stays. The event not only presents an economic opportunity, but also showcases the region's capacity to host world-class gatherings."

Or, as pointed out by Satyajeet Krishnan, Area Vice-President and General Manager, The Taj Mahal Hotel, whose sister hotel, the Taj Palace, has just completed hosting the B20 Summit of business leaders from G20 nations, "The Summit is not a one-off event, but the beginning of a series regional and business-to-business meetings that will keep driving up occupancies and also lift room rates closer to what New York or London hotels command."