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Oyo, Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, Yatra join hands to form industry body for tourism sector

Hospitality and travel tech companies such as Oyo, Yatra, Airbnb and EaseMyTrip have come together to launch a new industry body with the aim of helping small companies, promoting domestic tourism and helping digital transformation, announced Union Culture and Tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel. The body will also play a key role in getting small players in the hospitality sector on the National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry (NIDHI) platform.

Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT) comprises Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager, Airbnb – India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan; Nishant Pitti, Co-Founder & CEO – EaseMyTrip.com; Rohit Kapoor, CEO – OYO India & Southeast Asia, and Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO – Yatra.com

In a statement, Patel said that CHATT will play a crucial role in the Tourism Ministry’s “efforts to make the data available of hotels, home-stays on the unified portal – NIDHI”. NIDHI or the National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry is a digital platform where all accommodation units such as hotels or homestays can register themselves to become part of the hospitality industry, according to the FAQs on NIDHI. It was earlier known as Hotelcloud.

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Patel added, “Vaccination is going to drive the tourism sector’s revival and we are working on a uniform policy and setting up protocols for travellers getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The consolidated efforts by CHATT will be highly beneficial for SME, MSMEs hotel, homeowners, partners and I welcome them to join the various government committees to represent the unified voice of the industry.”

CHATT on Twitter said, “Every member will be able to access all CHATT resources and benefits, including participation in year-round programmes, signature business events, access to the travel-tech ecosystem, including the experts and regional leads among others.”

Plans started in 2020

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a tremendous impact on the tourism, hospitality, and technology industry worldwide. Last year, inspired by the feedback from India’s small hotels, independent hosts and travel operators – we got together with leading players of the industry such as Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, and Yatra started to discuss how interests of and challenges faced by these new-age entrepreneurs building travel businesses beyond tier-1 cities of India could also become an inclusive part of thought leadership and advocacy for the industry. The COVID-19 crisis presents a unique opportunity to collaborate on reviving the industry and only progress upwards from here on,” Oyo Rooms said in their official blog.

The newly-established travel body said that many small and medium enterprises that operate in the travel and tourism ecosystem, don’t receive update information about policy changes; they miss out on major developments only due to lack of access to digital innovations.

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Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO – Yatra.com, said “Based on the discussion with various stakeholders in the past year or so, CHATT has been formed, primarily with an idea to give a unified voice to the small and medium enterprises. For organisations to be successful, we need partners, entrepreneurs who drive their businesses in sync with us to drive their business to the next level. The objective of CHATT is to drive advocacy for our partners in order to align with the Government with the objective of causing benefit to the overall travel and hospitality ecosystem. With CHATT, we aim to represent the interests of smaller businesses and entrepreneurs who are the backbone of the tourism sector.”

Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager, Airbnb – India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan said, “The adoption of technology and digital infrastructure is shaping the future for customer service industries like travel and tourism, driving affordability, sustainability and reach. In the context of COVID-19, enhancing the digitization journey for travel businesses and entrepreneurs has become even more critical and has the potential to inform the sector’s recovery. The Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT) represents a concerted effort to promote the growth of a digital economy by onboarding hospitality entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses.

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