Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO, Yatra, and others launch industry association for COVID-19 recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a tremendous impact on the tourism, hospitality and technology industry worldwide. To empower smaller operators in the ecosystem, travel and hospitality tech players including Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra, have come together to launch Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT).
CHATT represents the hospitality and travel ecosystem, and will serve as a unified voice to strengthen advocacy to build the right framework for India's resilient tourism industry. The newly formed industry association aims to promote domestic tourism, lead the digital transformation of tourism related businesses and operating models, proactively engage via advocacy programmes to be a thought leader, and impart educational training and beneficial programmes to all industry segments.
The association comprises startup founders and business leaders such as 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 virtual digital launch event hosted by CHATT, Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge), Government of India, attended as the Chief Guest. He lauded the efforts of the new-age technology, travel and hospitality companies who have come together to promote the interest of the smallest and often under-represented operators and work together with the government on various fronts in this space.
While launching CHATT, the minister 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. The Tourism Ministry is continuously making efforts to make the data available of hotels, home-stays on the unified portal - NIDHI to benefit tourists and 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.”
In a statement, the industry association said that 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.