Tourism may have been the hardest-hit sector in the past year and a half thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now concerted efforts are being gradually made to revive it. From placing greater importance in vaccination for travel, special state tourism plans, more stringent-by-the-day safety guidelines for hotels to dedicated mobile phone apps and even a proposed one-dollar per night tariff plan in Phuket&mdashno stone is being left unturned across the world.
The latest in this slew of initiatives, is a major new development the Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism industry (CHATT). As part of this initiative, industry leaders and entrepreneurial setups have come together to strengthen domestic tourism, provide training to small-scale businesses, and create a digitally backed ecosystem to reshape tourism in wake of the pandemic and other unforeseen eventualities.
Launched digitally by Minister for Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel, CHATT seeks a revival of domestic tourism by improving the accessibility of services provided by smaller industry stakeholders operating beyond tier-1 cities, including travel startups, tour operators, transport businesses, homestays and SMEs/MSMEs throughout the country.
&ldquoThe 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. 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, &rdquo Patel said at the launch.
The founding members of CHATT include Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra&mdashall enterprises that have, in the past decade or so, boosted domestic travel by facilitating one-platform travel bookings, widening the accommodation pool, and introducing greater accountability of services. This has been possible evidently because of the increasing usability of tech infrastructure&mdashfrom ever-cheaper data plans and mobile application-based flight and hotel booking, to better information-sharing platforms.
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, impart educational training and beneficial programs to all industry segments. Every member will be able to access all CHATT resources and benefits, including participation in year-round programs, signature business events, access to the travel-tech ecosystem, including the experts and regional leads among others.