CHATT: Big boost for domestic tourism! Yes, today’s story is about an exciting collaboration in India’s travel and hospitality industry! And it’s called CHATT! A first of its kind travel and hospitality-tech collaboration has paved the way for the launch of CHATT! Curious to know what CHATT means? India’s small hotels and travel operators, as well as few leading players of the travel industry such as Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra have now come together to enable a new industry association – Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT) with an objective to empower the voices of small operators among the travel and hospitality tech players.
CHATT launch a ‘landmark decision’ to put ‘India on global map’
Addressing the virtual digital launch of CHATT, Prahlad Singh Patel, Tourism Minister lauded the founding members of CHATT for coming together to put India on the global map. Hailing CHATT’s formation and terming it as a ‘landmark decision’ to boost India’s domestic tourism while supporting small hotel partners, home owners and agents, Prahlad Patel expressed optimism in these words, “The Tourism Ministry is continuously making efforts to make data related to homestays and hotels on NIDHI, its unified portal, to benefit tourists and now CHATT will also play a crucial role in it.” Citing that the consolidated efforts of CHATT will be highly beneficial for MSMEs hotel, homeowners and partners, Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh welcomed the new industry association.
Notably, the new industry association comprises of biz leaders and startup founders including Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager, Airbnb -India, Nishant Pitti, Co-Founder & CEO – EaseMyTrip.com, Rohit Kapoor, CEO-OYO India & Southeast Asia, and Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO, Yatra.com.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the tourism and hospitality industry, following which several challenges loomed ahead for the new age entrepreneurs building their travel businesses in India and striving to go beyond the tier 1 cities. An emerging need to collaborate with key stakeholders became the need of the hour. Tacking continuing challenges and stepping up with thought leadership and advocacy for the industry has emerged as the need of the hour, one that the COVID-19 crisis presents as a unique opportunity to revive the travel and hospitality industry.
CHATT: Purpose, significance, benefits
CHATT aims to boost and promote domestic tourism, besides leading the digital transformation of tourism related biz and operating models, engaging via advocacy programmes, and positioning itself to be a thought leader that also imparts educational training and beneficial programs to all its industry segments.
For CHATT members, the key benefits include: Access to all CHATT resources and its benefits, alongwith participation for year round programs, signature biz events, access to its travel-tech ecosystem, as well as access to key experts and regional leads among others.
Prahlad Patel, Tourism Minister, also stated during its virtual launch that the efforts will benefit homeowners, SMEs, MSME hotels, partners among others.
Arvind Singh, Secretary Tourism, Government of India also conveyed that the founding members of CHATT are working tirelessly to ‘revolutionize’ and change the tourism industry by integrating tech, reaching out to small and medium entrepreneurs while addressing the prevailing gaps. Terming CHATT”s efforts as being highly ‘inclusive’, Singh further said that it will present greater economic impact once the impact of the second wave begins to subside.
Following this, CHATT’s founding members conveyed optimism about ‘filling the missing pieces of tech, innovation in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry’ while ‘promoting interests of small enterprises’ and ‘leveraging digital initiatives.’ Highlighting that Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra have continuously supported the Government’s vision to revive the economy, CHATT founding members shared their aim of coming together to safeguard the interests of small hotel, home and travel partners so as to become ‘their voice’.
For travellers reading this, this may just be the beginning of a timely initiative that can finally put India on the global map and boost the country’s domestic tourism on war footing.