Oyo, a hospitality chain, and travel agencies such as EaseMyTrip, AirBnB, and Yatra have reportedly formed an association, CHATT (Christened Confederation of Hospitality Technology & Tourism Industry). This initiative has been taken in a bid to help the hotel industry recover from the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the record, CHATT, the industry body, will examine the increasing challenges faced by the small-sized hotel owners as well as promote new tourism formats in India. It will also help the small- and medium-sized homeowners and hotels across the nation adopt technology and revive their businesses.
According to Oyo’s Founder & Chief Executive, Ritesh Agarwal, the company has joined hands with the travel agencies amid the pandemic to boost the country’s economic revival.
Dhruv Shringi, Yatra’s Co-founder & Chief Executive, reportedly stressed upon the need to implement a one-country one-tourism policy. Mr. Shringi further stated that the prevailing economic issues are expected to be solved following the improvement of the tourism sector, encouraging the adoption of a uniform policy for travel & tourism in the country.
Minister of State for Culture, Tourism of India, Prahlad Singh Patel, however, cited that the initiative must be taken cautiously to limit the spread of the virus, considering the possible adverse impacts on the entire government machinery.
The recent announcement happened along the heels of huge criticism from the offline hoteliers, citing unethical business practices and predatory pricing allegedly implemented by the online hospitality firms.
A Gurgaon-based hotelier previously filed a plea with the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) for corporate insolvency proceedings against Oyo’s subsidiary. Despite an out-of-court settlement between the two parties, other hotel owners also have submitted claims against the hospitality chain. The FHRAI (Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India) is also intervening in this case as a representative of its member hotels.