India Travel
Making Agra's service providers tourist-friendly
Jan 14, 2007 - 8:25:56 AM

Agra, Jan 14 - Dhaba owners and rickshaw pullers in the Taj Mahal city are being taught to be tourist-friendly and imparted lessons in hygiene and hospitality from trained hotel hands.

Over 30 owners or 'dhabas', or local roadside eateries, attended a daylong programme where they were taught basic cleanliness and hygiene lessons by chefs and front office managers of reputed hotels.

The training programme, an initiative of the tourism ministry, was held at the Yamuna View hotel here Friday.

Sudhir Kumar, a senior ministry official, told IANS: 'We have drawn up a special programme for service providers like coolies, dhabha owners, rickshaw pullers and police to give them basic training in tourism friendliness. Small things make a world of difference and leave a lasting impression on tourists.'

Agra, whose Taj Mahal is India's biggest tourist draw, attracts a wide variety of tourists - those who stay in five-star hotels or in the budget ones.

'The budget tourists are on their own and interact with locals for information and guidance. If we can give the locals proper orientation, it will go a long way in tourism promotion,' Kumar said.

Useful tips from chef Sunil Kapoor included covering heads while cooking and washing their hands with soap to maintain hygiene.

'Cleanliness and hygiene are the first noticeable features in a dhaba,' Kumar added.

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