The Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT), the first-ever industry association formed to enable collaboration among companies, irrespective of scale and size, that are at the intersection of hospitality, technology and tourism, has taken a major step forward by setting up a new secretariat to grow the organisation, meet the aspirations of the sector and promote the interests of micro entrepreneurs as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that make up the backbone of the industry overall.
CHATT was formed in June 2021 by top tech-based platforms in hospitality, tourism and leading online travel aggregators (OTAs) with the support of Union Ministry of Tourism as the only dedicated platform for small businesses, startups and new-age technology entities in this space.
With a view to promote digital transformation of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) and support the businesses in this ecosystem to adopt and adapt to digitally-enhanced business models, CHATT has appointed Anwar Shirpurwala, an influential tech-industry leader with over 25 years of rich experience in the technology sector as its Secretary General.
Anwar brings with him an extensive set of functional skills that will help strengthen the efforts of CHATT to bring together all the key stakeholders including government, industry, media, sector experts, think-tanks as well as tourists thereby harnessing the power of collective impact.
CHATT aims to on-board over 5,000 hospitality and tourism small-business owners and SMEs as members during the course of next one year.
Talking about his appointment and key priorities for CHATT, Anwar said, “This has been a chance that my appointment as Secretary General of CHATT coincides with my experience as a travel enthusiast and a technology industry professional.”
He added, “The businesses across the hospitality, tourism and travel sector, most importantly the micro entrepreneurs and SMEs continue to face many challenges and need to come together to recover fully and rapidly from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. I look forward to working with the government, our members, industry leaders, sector experts and other relevant stakeholders to reshape and to rejuvenate the sector.”
CHATT has tasked itself with representing and safeguarding the interests of budget hotels, Bed and Breakfast (BnB) stays, independent lodging partners, homestay owners, OTAs, wellness centres, travel operators, agents, guides, and other travel partners with a focus on small and mid-sized businesses operating in this sector that are at the intersection of technology.
The industry body will primarily focus on advocacy, ecosystem development, professional development, public policy, sustainability, technology adoption, upskilling and other related efforts for the industry. It aims to drive a positive narrative about how the travel tech sector, through digital access, technology interventions, and innovative solutions, is catering to the needs of tourists in an ever-changing tourism landscape.