The Ministry of Tourism have formulated the guidelines for approval and reapproval of Online Travel Aggregators, OTA to ensure adequate safeguards against deficiency of service, alternate arrangements and punitive deterrence.
The ministry said in a statement yesterday that the voluntary scheme is open to bonafide online travel aggregators to bring them on a common platform in the organized sector.
The guidelines will be rolled out online by the end of this month.
The Ministry will grant recognition as an approved OTA for five years, based on the inspection report and recommendations of a committee and approval of the chairman of The Hotel & Restaurant Approval & Classification Committee.
Re-approval, thereafter, shall also be granted for five years after inspection conducted by a Committee of the same constitution.
The ministry said in order to engage with the OTAs constructively, it is imperative that a system is put in place with qualitative benchmarks to accredit them.
An OTA is an intermediary or an agent, selling travel products and services such as the airlines, car rental, cruise lines, Hotels or Accommodation, railways and vacation packages on behalf of suppliers using the internet as a medium.
They establish an online market place and earn profits on the discounts commonly referred to as commission offered by the suppliers.