Tourism Ministry formulates Guidelines for approval of Online Travel Aggregators

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Tourism has formulated the guidelines for approval /re-approval of Online Travel Aggregators (OTA’s) to ensure that there are adequate safeguards against deficiency of service.

These guidelines for approval /re-approval of OTA’s also aimed at alternate arrangements if needed and punitive deterrence.

This is a voluntary scheme open to bona fide online travel aggregators to bring them on a common platform in the organized sector and the guidelines will be rolled out online by the end of December, 2018.

The scheme for approval / re-approval of OTAs will be rolled out on the online platform and all applications and fee payment will have to be made on the online platform.

The scheme is expected to set standards towards accreditation and add value to the dependability and reliability to the aggregators in the online space operating in the organized tourism sector.

In the recent past, several Online Travel Aggregators (OTA) who are aggregating rooms in the various accommodation segments have emerged. The B&B / Homestay segment has always suffered from inadequate marketing owing to the small scale of business. The emergence of OTAs can galvanise this segment and emerge as a game changer.

An Online Travel Aggregator (OTA) is an intermediary/agent selling travel products and services such as the airlines, car rental, cruise lines, Hotels / Accommodation, railways and vacation packages on behalf of suppliers using the internet as a medium.

They establish an online marketplace and earn profits on the discounts commonly referred to as commission offered by the suppliers.

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