New Delhi: Hospitality and travel companies such as Airbnb, , Oyo and Yatra are joining hands to launch a new industry body called Confederation of Hospitality Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT).

CHATT aims to promote domestic tourism, lead the “digital transformation” of tourism-related business and operating models, “proactively” engage via advocacy programmes to be a thought leader, and impart educational training and beneficial programmes to all industry segments, according to a statement.

Every member will be able to access 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.

The association includes:

  • Amanpreet Bajaj, 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
  • Dhruv Shringi, co-founder and chief executive officer of Yatra.com

In a virtual digital 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.

He also said the tourism ministry is working on ensuring the data of hotels, homestays is 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 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,” he added.

The founding members of CHATT said their work is 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.

According to the association, the focus sectors also include enabling industry segments for travel and hospitality such as payments, property technology and advertising.

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