Arriving at the international airport in New Delhi can be unpleasant. It's not just the surly immigration officials and long queues. It's also the malodorous taxi waiting outside - malodorous because the driver has slept in it all night, leaving an aroma of unwashed socks. Normally the driver does not offer any greeting and may not even open the door. Whether he'll help you with the luggage is also unpredictable. Adding insult to injury is the possibility that he will cheat you. Many taxi drivers are honest, of course, but newspapers are full of horror stories about the ones who rip off tourists. Last month, a Japanese tourist was charged over 200 times the correct fare. If you go shopping with the same driver, he will invariably take you to shops where he gets commission from the owners. Here, once again, the visitor is thoroughly fleeced: sold 'silk' carpets that are nylon mixed with wool and '100 per cent pashmina' shawls that are only 5 per cent pashmina. Multiply this many times - in restaurants, shops and hotels - and it's easy to see why visitors to India can have a difficult time. Just being driven around the city can be taxing, with beggars at every traffic junction thrusting diseased limbs in your face. A disgruntled tourist from Malaysia, Balquish Badawi, said after a recent visit: 'It all looked so lovely in the television ads that we saw - lovely beaches, forts and palaces - but it's been so dirty. Everyone is determined to cheat us. You don't know who to trust.' Some of this is changing thanks to a campaign by the Tourism Ministry, which is worried about the negative impressions formed by visitors during their first encounters. The ministry has engaged a private company to train thousands of porters, immigration staff, tour guides, souvenir-shop assistants, restaurant waiters and taxi drivers in courtesy and personal hygiene. 'They told me that, by providing a better service, I would get better tips and have people coming back,' said airport taxi driver Ishwar Singh, who has undergone the training. Mr Singh was taught a few phrases of English, told to smile and say 'good morning' to visitors, open the door for them and keep an air freshener inside his cab, along with a bottle of mineral water and a box of tissues. The government has another reason for wanting to improve the manners and friendliness of Indians who interact with foreign visitors: that is, the invasion of foreigners due to visit the capital in 2010, when India hosts the next Commonwealth Games. By then, it hopes, some basic civility will be in place, along with a sea change in attitudes - so that tourists are regarded as valuable generators of income rather than gullible prey.