Robbing foreign tourists

If you thought I was going to tell you about another foreign tourist getting mugged, Nope. These mugging incidents are far and few and there is no discrimination involved. Let me tell you about this polished way in which our dear foreign tourists get robbed.

I am expecting a guest tomorrow night, and I called a local hotel for a room. The lady said good luck; we have a room open tomorrow night. Great, I said and then she asked what’s the nationality of your guest. I wondered how that mattered. Then I learnt that this hotel’s rates are Rs 7300 a night for Indian nationals. And US $ 245 (about Rs 11000) a night for non-Indians!

What the hell? Do foreign tourists consume more towels, bath soaps and tissue rolls or what? Or does the hotel just switch off air conditioning and hot water for their Indian guests? I tried arguing, but no use. I was told they have a “policy” like that!

As far as I know, there is no policy prescribed by the government tourism department asking that foreign tourists be made to pay 20% to 30% more. And even if we do, why the hell do we talk of promoting tourism when most of our hotels practice this discrimination?

I did read recently that our hotel industry is considering switching to single currency tariff. And it’s not that all the hotels do this. But many do.

12 Comments so far

  1. Thejesh GN (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 9:19 pm

    I remember the entry fee board $5 for other nationals and Rs5 for Indians!

  2. F e r r a r i (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 11:04 pm

    Not just the hotels. Most of the places, the rate is different for indians and foreigners. Taj Mahal is one good example.

    And you can look at it this way :) Indian Nationals are getting discount :)

  3. rubic_cube (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 11:14 pm

    My uncle who became a citizen of the US in 2002 was in India briefly on official assignment. He was born and brought up in Mumbai and studied at REC Rourkela. Every bit an Indian, and yet… he had to pay in dollars whenever he visited any hotel or prominent tourist places. And the amount in dollars was far more than the rate in INR.

  4. Ajay (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 11:48 pm

    Most tourist location in Delhi too have this aberration. But then, India tourism development authority understands that desi junta will be more inclined to visit these places if the cost is something like 5-10 rupees, while a tourist from US or Europe will not mind paying the extra dollars, as he has already spent a lot of money to get here and he thinks its worth it.

  5. Shruthi (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 10:12 am

    Yes a lot of places have this discrimination in the entry fee.
    I remember some funny things
    1) In the Taj Mahal, I saw this – a couple from north-east India were not believed when they said they were Indians – they had to argue and show some identity to prove they are Indians.
    2) I heard that some acquaintances of mine had been to Bannerghatta – the wife is an Indian, the husband is an American, and their son is of course, half of each. Though all three were settled in the US, the lady had to pay the Indian fee, the American had to pay the foreign national entry fee, as for the son – I don’t remember :D

  6. Ajith (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 11:55 am

    Thats government sponsored racism. Look “Indian” or pay more!!

  7. silkboard (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

    Yes guys, it is govt sponsored racism of sorts, browns pay less. We use our low cost advantage in other businesses, but not in the business of tourism. Since they can afford to pay more, ask for more – how dumb!

  8. rubic_cube (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 7:45 pm

    Alright.. if you are arguing about Govt sponsored racism, then every country seems to be doing it in one form or the other. Take for case, education in US. If you are a US resident, then you pay significantly less for your education. If you are a foreign student (who does not have any aid granted or any schol.), then u gotta pay through ur nose…! How is that? Atleast in case of tourism, US locations do not discriminate at all.

  9. sf_mark (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 5:27 am

    In the case of education, I think the concept of residents paying lower tuition is supported by the fact that these same residents pay taxes which support the schools. No one, on the other hand, pays taxes to support the hotel industry — or perhaps you do there.

  10. Praveen (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

    I guess hotels and other tourist places are giving discounts for Indians so the rate for Indians are cheap :-) compare to non-indians..

    Fellow Indians Enjoy the great discount bonanza


  11. Ursula (unregistered) on July 21st, 2006 @ 4:48 am

    This type of special rate differentiation was also true when I lived in Russia. Foreigners paid more than twice as much to see such sights as the Hermitage or do anything else touristy in that country.

    As for the U.S., we often discriminate by what state a person lives in–not just citizen / foreigner. I think it comes down to taxes. If you have paid the state taxes, you get a “deal” on education, if not, you pay more.

    Speaking of Bangalore, I wonder how they enforce the different rates. Could the local resident have reserved and paid for the room and gotten around it that way? Just a thought.

  12. Prakash (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 5:46 pm

    Actually this is done with the intension of getting business too… some forigners do belive that if the price is very less…then quality is missing. So our guys make a fast buck too

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