The tourism ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Yatra on July 2 to strengthen and enable the tourism and hospitality industry. The government, via the PIB, also issued a press release with information on this MoU. The press release said that the event was organised under an arrangement between the Ministry of Tourism and the Quality Council of India (QCI), where the MoU for the Tourism Ministry Yatra tie-up was signed.
While the MoU is meant to mainly strengthen tourism, it also takes into consideration and provides support for accommodation units. The MoU outlines that both parties signing the document would participate in encourage the accommodation units to self-certify themselves on the System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for the Hospitality Industry (SAATHI) on the Online Travel Agency Platform (OTA). Earlier this year, the Ministry of Tourism had also signed an MoU with ClearTrip and Ease My Trip.
There has been an ongoing effort by the ministry to strengthen the tourism sector in India while extending support to accommodation units. The accommodation units registered on NIDHI and SAATHI on the OTA platform are to be provided extended visibility with the signing of this MoU. SAATHI is an initiative by the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the Quality Council of India.
The government is also to gather more information on more accommodation units in the country to gain actionable insights & designing evidence-based & targeted policy measures and promote safe and sustainable tourism. The PIB issued by the Tourism Ministry read, “The Ministry of Tourism & Yatra will endeavour to take necessary steps to encourage and promote strategic and technical co-operation in the Indian hospitality & tourism sector for overall benefit in the identified areas through the MoU. It is expected that in the future more OTAs will come forward for signing such MOUs in order to strengthen the Hospitality & Tourism Industry of India.”
The MoU outlines the responsibility of the ministry and yatra to encourage local tourism by asking more accommodation units to register on NIDHI and SAATHI with appropriate precautions and safeguards. The MOU was signed in the presence of Shri Rakesh Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Shri Sanjay Singh, Deputy Director General (H&R), Ministry of Tourism; Dr A Raj, Senior Director, QCI; Mr Aditya Gupta, Senior Vice President, Yatra and Mr Akshay Mehta, General Manager, Yatra. Currently, neither Yatra nor the Tourism Ministry has put up information about this on their Twitter pages.