The city looks brand new and wears a festive look. And, at least in this case, appearances are not deceptive. The World Classical Tamil Conference to be held here from June 23 to 27 has ushered in a host of economical benefits to this industrial city.

The foremost is that Coimbatore has got the much-needed and long-awaited infrastructure boost and this will, in the long-run, be an advantage to the industries and trade here. Further, Coimbatore is now known to a larger audience, including those in foreign countries. This could lead to investment and trade partnerships in the future.

“The impact is very positive in the long-run. The profile of Coimbatore has gone up a few notches with the publicity. This may increase the trade events and visitors attendance for these events in the future,” says K. Ilango, president of the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association.

In the process of making arrangements for the conference, the interaction between the industry and the Government has improved and this will also have long-term benefits, says chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Coimbatore, J. Balamurugan.

On the immediate impact, he says that when two lakh to three lakh people come into the city, and even if each one spends about Rs. 500 for their routine needs, the traders, service providers and commercial establishments here will benefit on the conference days.

The new and wider roads, footpaths, painted public walls, spruced up traffic islands, modern traffic police posts and road side gardens are certainly a feast to the eyes. These and other facilities created here for the conference have also brought in employment to hundreds of skilled and unskilled workers during the last few months.

“The direct employment generated so far for the infrastructure work is massive,” points out Jayakumar Ramdass, president of the Southern India Engineering Manufacturers' Association. And, this includes employment for the skilled persons and artisans for the pandals at the conference venue, paintings and float works.

Material suppliers, transport providers, catering, laundry and security services are some of the direct beneficiaries during the conference days as thousands of people are expected to come for the event. Though there is no direct benefit immediately for the larger industrial sectors here, in the long-term the city benefits with the exposure, he adds.

P. Durairaj, secretary of Coimbatore Cloth Merchants' Association, says the textile shops will be kept open on the conference days and, “We expect more business as people will visit the nearby temples and tourist places during the non-conference hours and will buy small textile products.”

R. Srinivasan, secretary of Tamil Nadu Hotel Owners' Association, says that at least 50 per cent of those coming for the conference will come into the city for shopping and food. They need quick service, quality and affordable food. “We are thinking of combo meals and extending some of the breakfast varieties for lunch.” All popular hotels of the city will also have outlets at the conference venue. The bakeries, eateries and restaurants will certainly see more sales on these days, he says.