Tourist info-cafes to project Delhi as a 'brand' during Games

Tourist info-cafes to project Delhi as a 'brand' during Games
New Delhi:  The city of Delhi will be marketed as a "brand" to foreign and domestic visitors during the upcoming Commonwealth Games with the help of 40 tourist information-cum-food kiosks across the capital.

The first such 'tourist info-cafe' was unveiled by Mayor Prithvi Raj Sawhney near Red Fort on Monday. Within the next three days, 30 more such kiosks will be fully functional in MCD areas and 10 in NDMC areas, officials said.

The cafe, which has been installed by private agency Ved Pohoja Associates with support from MCD, has a 30X20 inch touch screen to provide information to visitors on eight foreign and Indian languages about tourist attractions in the city, its culture and heritage, shopping areas, food, accommodation and nightlife.

"The kiosks will also sell street food and beverages of Delhi, which will be safe and hygienic. In this stall, which is near the Chandni Chowk, the famous parathas, chaat, jalebi and lassi of walled city will be available," MCD Remunerative Project Cell chief Amiya Chandra said.

The info-cafes will focus on "city branding", selling T-shirts, bags, caps and mugs with themes like "I Love Delhi" and "Delhi Dilwalaon Ka" under the brand tag of "Delhi Memories", apart from Indian handicrafts items and coffee table books on Delhi, he said.

"This will be a big help for foreign tourists during the Games. They can get a lot of information via the touch screens. The items that are being sold are all eco-friendly.

The project is aimed at increasing the popularity of Delhi as a tourist attraction," the Mayor told reporters.

"This is an MCD initiative which has later also been adopted by the NDMC too," Sawhney said.

The MCD said it has not incurred any expenditure in the project which has been undertaken in a public-private partnership mode. Chandra said the stalls will be operational for 100 days and the private agency will get profit from the sale of items. After that, the units will be transferred to MCD which will use them as government-to-citizen kiosks.

"We will transform the stalls to G2C kiosks. Touch screens will be there, but no items will be sold." he said.

The touch screens will provide information on ATMs, police stations and hospitals along with important contact numbers other than travel related information about Jaipur and Agra.

All the data can be downloaded using bluetooth technology.

"The concept has been designed by us keeping in mind the fact that there was no serious attempt to sell Delhi as a brand despite its rich heritage and culture," Pohoja, who has conceived the project along with three of his friends, said.

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