Speaking at India Travel Congress on session titled “Delhi as a World-class Global Tourist City”, JB Singh, President, Interglobe Hotels favoured putting in place mechanism, judicial or otherwise, to fix accountability, especially in big-ticket projects concerning hotels. He noted that Aerocity was a grand plan but had yet turned out to be a tale of missed opportunities.
JB Singh, President, Interglobe Hotels stressed on the need for institutionalising the process of accountability, judicial or otherwise, to ensure that projects such as Aerocity were completed on time and viable returns were ensured to businesses investing large sums of money. He noted that given the number of agencies involved in the process, especially concerning hotels, it was difficult to pin accountability and “it kept shifting.”
He was of the opinion that Aerocity was a “grand plan” but a tale of missed opportunity in terms of execution. He recounted his experience of being involved with Aerocity, touted to be a unique initiative, and shared that an integrated township was conceptualized and large hotel companies made substantial investments, and “did a great job at it”. However, the undertaking had been marred with delays, costing hotel companies’ copious amounts of money.
He shared that hotels had already been constructed, keeping in mind the original deadline of 2010, and systems were put in place and “it continued like that for many years” but owing to multiplicity of authority and lack of accountability, deadline of the project kept extending, pushing several hotels to the brink of being declared NPAs (non-performing assets).
He bemoaned that hotels in Aerocity were yet not able to provide travellers a truly seamless experience and asked hotels to converge and collaborate to ensure top notch visitor experience and growth in businesses.
He lamented the absence of a fulsome visitor experience with the omission of elements such as retail and F&B, beyond the hotel premises, and stated that even after eight years past the original deadline, Aerocity was yet representative of a “construction site”.
Speaking on the importance of Aerocity in the milieu of the larger tourism offering of the city, he noted that “Aerocity was uniquely poised”, and there was a need to create the micro market of Aerocity in totality and link it to other parts of the city. It was crucial in terms of providing an elevated customer experience but also in boosting the GDP of the city as a hub of economic activity, he asserted.
He also mentioned that the “offtake of Aerocity” was very good, thanks to its location, linking two key business centres of Delhi and Gurugram. However, consumers were yet bereft of a seamless experience, he suggested.