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Hyderabad: Can this IT city lure tourists?

Hyderabad: Can this IT city lure tourists?

The famed city of Hyderabad in south India is facing a dilemma. While it is very successful as an IT cyber location, it has not been able to achieve recognition as a leisure tourist destination.

With some imaginative actions, more tourists would come, as do the information technology people that are coming now, say players like Alok Kaul, General Manager of the Radisson Hyderabad Hitec City.

If tour operators could start tours to the pilgrim city of Tirupati from Hyderabad, it would help a lot, said Kaul, adding that Hyderabad has less traffic problems than Delhi, Mumbai, or Bengalaru.

Attractions like the Salar Jung Museum and the film city of Ramaji Rao can also attract the leisure market if they are made more tourist friendly.

All big names in IT – Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. – have come to Hyderabad and are always expanding. Trained manpower is also an added plus point with these tech giants in town. But cuisine offerings must increase, and Kaul is trying to do just that.

The hotel inventory is increasing, with Leela, Marriott, and Westin adding capacity. The ITC group has also added a new property, showing confidence in the market.

The highlight of the city is the HICC convention center where Novetel has 288 rooms and 37 break-out meeting rooms. Varun Mehrotra, director of sales at Novotel, pointed out that they are almost always full with medical and other meetings. For Novotel, MICE accounts for 70 percent while FITs are 30 percent.

Traditionally, the Taj Group has been an active and significant player in the city, with the Banjara Hill being home to several hotels that are being refurbished and renovated, again showing confidence in the future. Leela will be ready by 2021, adding another new dimension to the hotel scene.

Hyderabad is an aviation hub that just so happens to have a grand airport. Education and medical facilities are excellent, so the only missing link is entertainment and leisure activities. With these categories all on the map, tourists will begin making travel plans to the city.