The Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi later this year are, arguably, being positioned as India’s coming of age party. As an occasion to showcase the country’s prowess — in sporting and off the sports field too. Whether the games will actually be able to do this, is still quite fuzzy.
One sector that has its hopes pinned on the games is tourism. At last year’s World Travel Market, India’s Tourism Minister reportedly said that around 100,000 tourists are expected to visit India during the Commonwealth Games. Segments of the hospitality industry, however, don’t seem to share this confidence. Similarly, there are also reports that tourists have not warmed up to the games, at least not yet.
And things are set to get even more interesting. An event that is scheduled to happen in New Delhi on Tuesday, July 27 will in all probability stir the Commonwealth Games cauldron a bit further.
The Bangalore-based NGO Equations and the Housing and Land Rights Network have announced a press conference to release the report ‘Humanity – Equality – Destiny? Implicating Tourism in the Commonwealth Games, 2010’. According to Equations, the report “comes in a series of investigations by civil society groups on the developments and implications” of the games. And it “investigates the links between mega-sport events, tourism and notions of development.”
Now I haven’t seen the report yet, but I expect that it is not going to be very complimentary about the Commonwealth Games-tourism link. Having said that, it will be interesting to see what the report and press conference throw up.