Amid trying times when travel business across the globe has taken a huge hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, hospitality and travel majors operating in India have come together to launch a new industry regulatory body called the Confederation of Hospitality Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT) to push sector growth.
Top travel companies including Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, Oyo, and Yatra are among the companies which will be founding partners for the new entity. According to a statement released by CHATT, the travel body looks to promote domestic tourism, lead the “digital transformation” of tourism-related business and operating models, “proactively” engage via advocacy programs to be a thought leader, and impart educational training and beneficial programs to all industry segments.
The new body will also pool resources under CHATT which will be accessible to each partner company. Members will also be able to access benefits, including participation in year-round programs, signature business events, access to the travel-tech ecosystem, including the experts and regional leads among others.
Among the leadership team of the new entity, CHAAT includes AmanpreBajaj, general manager for Airbnb in India, Southeast Asia; Nishant Pitti, co-founder, and chief executive officer of EaseMyTrip; Rohit Kapoor, chief executive officer of Oyo India and Southeast Asia and Dhruv Shringi, co-founder and chief executive officer of Yatra.com.
During a virtual launch event hosted by CHATT, tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel said CHATT's formation is a “landmark decision” to boost India's robust domestic tourism market and support small hotel partners, homeowners, agents to expand their offerings catering to the needs of tourists.
According to Patel, the tourism ministry is working on ensuring the data of hotels, homestays are available on the unified portal NIDHI to benefit tourists, and that CHATT will play a crucial role in it.
“Vaccination is going to drive the tourism sector's revival and we are working on a uniform policy and setting up protocols for travelers 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,” Patel added.
Meanwhile, the founding members of CHATT said their work was aimed at promoting the interests of the small enterprises in the industry, by leveraging digital initiatives, and ongoing dialogues with the government.
In the virtual presentation, the CHATT members said they will engage with key stakeholders including the tourism ministry and other central government ministries, state governments, tourism bodies, airlines and operators, independent and small hotel chains, OTAs, F&B companies, and bed and breakfast players.