New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Mani
Shankar Aiyar may not be the only one opting to stay the "hell
out of the country" during the Commonwealth Games as many
Delhiites are planning vacations abroad, especially to Southeast Asia and Europe, during the October mega event.
Tour operators say many Dilliwallas are in no mood to
witness the Games, to be held from October 3-14, as recent
reports of large-scale corruption in the preparations has led
to doubts about successful hosting of the event.
"People are sceptic about the event. The reports of
corruption have affected the enthusiasm levels of many. Many
people are worried over what may happen here then," said
Rajinder Giri, senior consultant with BCD Travels.
"I have had nearly 20 bookings so far where people are
planning vacations with family and friends during the Games.
There are six to seven persons from my office itself who are
planning holidays during that time," he said.
And these are not just about families and friends, but
corporate are also letting their staff take a break during
the event which will be hosted in India for the first time.
"Most of the people, even corporate, are heading towards
Europe or Southeast Asia, particularly Bangkok. And secondly,
there are a lot of events that will go on across the world
during that time. Take the Grand Prix (race) in Malaysia for
instance," said Ketaki Behl, Director of Indraprastha Travels.
Tour operators have offered special travel packages for
holidayers during this period. And bookings for the period are
boosting revenues for such operators.
"There have been a lot of new packages for that period.
We had started selling packages as early as in June-July.
Right now, we are receiving last minute booking calls," Behl
While Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore remain popular as
international destinations, travellers with budget constraints
are opting for weekend getaways to nearby hill resorts and
"Goa is really a popular destination among domestic
tourists with lesser budgets," said Aneesh Seigell, proprietor
of A2Z Travel Planners.
"I receive nearly 10 calls everyday regarding bookings
during the Games period. This is a good time for business.
People are thinking of taking leave during that period," he
"People are not sure about school holidays. Government
offices may also be closed during that time. Once both of
these are confirmed, people will confirm more bookings by
then," he added.
Aiyar, a vocal critic of organising the Games in Delhi,
had said earlier this month that he will be "hell out of the
country" during the October event as he is no mood to witness