Friday, November 28, 2008

Live Blog: Bombay under Siege XVI

4.15 p.m.

The much needed cessation, the end point, the long wait, the anxiety seems unabated. What is worrying is that the economy which is in tatters could be further beggared by the loss of tourist income. Tourists will think twice before coming to India seeing that two of its major hotels aren't safe anymore. Here's a report on Bloomberg about the Indian tourism industry which seems headed for rocky times. The colleague who was so excited is all quiet now, seems he has gone into depression after shouting so much, so excitedly. Here's the Bloomberg excerpts:

"The Mumbai terrorist attacks struck India's tourist industry at the start of peak season, compounding problems for airlines and hotels that were already facing the slowest growth in visitor numbers in five years.

"People are scared," said H.A. Subramanian, general manager of Shiv Niwas in Udaipur, Rajasthan, a converted royal palace where suites cost as much as 80,000 rupees ($1,600) a night. "Travel agents will not take the risk of bringing people to India at least in the next couple of months. The market was already affected by the financial crisis."

Subramanian said cancellations were already coming in for the hotel, owned by the Maharana of Mewar.

Terrorist attacks aimed at foreign tourists, such as the Mumbai assaults, may hurt hotel bookings and airline-ticket sales for more than a year. The island of Bali, which accounts for one-third of all foreign tourists to Indonesia, had not recovered a year after the 2002 bomb that killed 202 people, according to a World Bank report.

Shares of Indian Hotels Ltd., which runs the Taj chain, fell as much as 14 percent in Mumbai, or the most in seven years in intraday trading. EIH Ltd., owner of the Oberoi chain, plunged 18 percent, the biggest drop in more than 15 years.

No comments: