1 Dec. 2008
Shock has not yet faded off the faces of guests trapped inside the Mumbai Hotels - Taj Palace, Trident, Oberoi. Nariman house, a Jewish abode was also at the gun point of the terrorist. The wide criticism is that should innocent people, tourists and civilian citizens of a country be targeted to execute this cowardly act.
Mumbai has always been in the hit list of terrorist groups. The financial capital of India is known for its riots and gang wars after Dalal Street Stock Exchange and Bollywood Cinema. But the 26/11 incident has stood different from the previous attacks; it was like a face to face fight between the security forces and the terrorists who used innocent people as shield this Mumbai Hotel operation. The vacuum created by terror-hit hotels in south Mumbai has formed a scarcity of 1,407 hotel rooms (541 rooms in Trident, 539 in Taj Palace Hotel and 327 rooms at the Oberoi Hotel) for at least a period of over one year. There are about 2,100 rooms in south and central Mumbai including the Taj and Oberoi -Trident hotels. North Mumbai has 4,000 rooms.
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Mumbai is shifting its guests to Taj President which has 254 rooms and to Taj Lands End at Bandra. Oberoi is left with little options as it has no other hotel property in Mumbai therefore Oberoi is not accepting any fresh booking for Mumbai till December 31. None of these hotel's officials has not yet confirmed as of when these hotels can be reopened. The most worrying factor is that how the insurance companies are going to respond to the claims made by these hotels as they are currently riding a high tide. Visitors will find it difficult to get hotel rooms in Mumbai because of the current tourist season and most of the hotels are already 100% booked and those on hold will be offered only at premium rates. This means a bonanza for the remaining south Mumbai five star hotels such as Intercontinental at Marine Drive and Taj President in Cuffe Parade. Other hotels such as Intercontinental, Ambassador and Marine Plaza could also benefit from this scenario. The airline crew who usually stay in Taj and Oberoi, will have to shift to hotels in north Mumbai.
The Central Mumbai hotels ITC Grand Maratha with 230 rooms at Parel and Four Seasons in Worli with 200 rooms will also benefit as most of business travellers fancy staying close to their meeting venues. Leisure travellers or holiday makers may opt for other posh hotels like JW Marriott in Juhu, The Leela, ITC Grand Maratha, Le Royal Méridien, Intercontinental, Hyatt Regency, all in Andheri, Grand Hyatt at Santacruz and Renaissance at Powai.