Jaipur, Jan 19 (IANS) With over 1,600 rooms booked in over 40 hotels, the Congress' three-day 'Chintan Shivir' has boosted the city's hospitality sector, which was witnessing a dull tourist season.
The rooms in 43 hotels are occupied by around 350 Congress delegates and over 250 mediapersons from all over India. In addition, over 1,200 All India Congress Committee (AICC) members will be arriving in the city Sunday.
The 'Chintan Shivir', the Congress' introspective meet, is being held here Jan 18-20.
"Half a dozen hotels were booked for four days for the media and delegates beginning Thursday. The rest have been booked for Jan 19 and 20 (Saturday and Sunday) for AICC members," Harish Kumar, executive manager of the Four Point Sheraton, one of the host hotels, told IANS.
Kumar said the event has come as a welcome surprise in a dull season.
"The tourism industry has still not recovered completely from the global recession. Foreign tourists are still shying away from international holidays. This event was much needed," he said.
Sunil Kumar, hotel Royal Orchid, told IANS: "People in the hospitality business are delighted. There weren't many tourists this season and this event has saved us from losses."
A standard room for one night in all the 43 hotels ranges between Rs.4,000 to Rs.6,000.
According to a Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation official, the room occupancy prior to the event was between 40 to 50 percent. However, it surged to around 90 percent over the weekend.
The officials further said that the exposure the city is getting due to the event will further generate revenue as some Congress delegates would like to return with friends or families.
"Many people have come here for the first time and there is a possibility that they will return," said Harish Kumar.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is staying at the governor's house Raj Bhawan, while Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi are lodged at a private hotel, Raj Mahal Palace.
(Rahul Vaishnavi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)