Tourism and hospitality companies, including Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra, have jointly formed the Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT), an industry association to strengthen and support small businesses in the sector.
The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel, launched the association on 24th June 2021. The creation of the CHATT is a historic decision to promote the development of the local tourism industry and support primary partners, owners and agents associated with the sector. The organisation’s objective is to support the development of small businesses and technological advancements for tourism and hospitality enterprises.
The joint confederation will promote the local tourism industry, contribute to digital transformation, act as a thought leader and organise training programs.
What will CHATT do as an industry body?
The Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT) aims to promote the national tourism industry as well as the digital transformation of tourism-related businesses. Under the ambit of the body, new business models, implementation of plans, training courses, and advertising programs for all branches of industry will be undertaken.
Each member of the body will have access to all of CHATT’s resources and benefits, including annual plans, business efforts, and the travel-tech ecosystem that consists of local experts and executives.
The critical purposes of CHATT are:
Promotion of national tourism,
Promotion of digital transformation of business and operational models related to the sector, and
Development of plans, training programs and curricula for all industry segments.
How will CHATT benefit small hospitality and travel operators?
The association will help develop the smallest and most vulnerable businesses in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. It will cooperate with the government in many areas like technology sharing, funds allocation and cross-industry domestic partnership. The establishment of CHATT is premised on India’s solid domestic tourism market. It will help small hotel partners, owners, and agents expand their product portfolio to meet the needs of tourists.
The tourism ministry also is continuously making resolutions to make the data available of lodges and home-stays on the combined portal NIDHI to benefit tourists, and CHATT will play a crucial role in it. The tourism ministry is also formulating a uniform policy and setting up protocols for travellers getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Key Existing Bodies in the Tourism Industry
Ministry of Tourism (MoT)
The Ministry of Tourism is a branch of the Government of India and the main body for formulating and regulating rules related to the development of tourism in India.
Hotel Association of India (HAI)
Founded in 1996, the Hotel Association of India (HAI) is a pioneering organisation in the Indian hotel industry. Its members represent interests from across the hospitality and tourism industry, including hotels, boutiques, historic inns, and large, medium and small establishments.
Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI)
The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) represents the diversity of the hotel industry. FHRAI is an interface between industry stakeholders, politicians, academics, international organisations and other interest groups.
Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO)
The Indian Association of Tour Operators is the country’s premier tourism onlooker with over 1,600 member groups from all tourism industry sectors.
Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH)
The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) is the policy-making association of all national bodies representing the entire Indian tourism, travel and hospitality industry.
The difficulties faced by small businesses in the hotel and tourism industry are unique and need to be addressed in different ways. Most of these businesses are often under-represented, a critical problem that the newfound body – CHATT- aims to solve.
Post-COVID, consumer preferences have also been constantly changing as more travellers move away from mass scale tourism. The adoption of technology by travellers and entrepreneurs is increasing rapidly. Small business owners in the area need help to adjust to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic; CHATT’s formation is the right step in that direction.