The collaboration will allow FHRAI's hotel members as well as its regional associations to offer their inventory for sale as online accommodation partners through the tourism website of IRCTC and its associate portal.
Indian Railways’ catering and e-ticketing arm, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) have collaborated to offer hotel accommodations to tourists. The collaboration will allow FHRAI’s hotel members as well as its regional associations to offer their inventory for sale as online accommodation partners through the tourism website of IRCTC and its associate portal. As part of this collaboration, a 2% discount on the commission payable to IRCTC is offered to 3-star category hotels or hotels with equivalent facilities. However, it is mandatory for the hotels to be affiliated to FHRAI and its regional associations.
According to Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI, this partnership will offer the users of IRCTC the option to select their preferred stay from over 55000 hotels across the country. The empanelled hotel chains or hotels are in the category of 3-star or above with all basic amenities as well as with international standards of hygiene and safety. Kohli further said that this will give IRCTC users the convenience of booking quality rooms anywhere in the country while booking their journey through the IRCTC portal.
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The partnership between IRCTC and FHRAI entails empanelment of accommodation partners for three years period and it is extendable every three years without any charges on mutually agreed terms. Apart from this, for all new applications received up to 31 July 2021, it provides a one-time waiver of integration charges as applicable. Members are not required to go through any separate procedure to get classified since hotels with equivalent facilities can get a certification by FHRAI.
According to Surendra Kumar Jaiswal, Vice President, FHRAI, this is a great initiative by the FHRAI and the Modi government as due to arm-twisting business tactics of the online aggregators, hotel and restaurant members are being hassled. He mentioned, certain OTAs charge hefty commissions as well as other hidden charges. Thus, partnering with an entity that is run by the government, will eliminate these issues. He said that the contracts are transparent, bilateral and also, hotels do not have to worry about illegal or hidden charges. Besides, this partnership is expected to bring new hope to distressed hoteliers whose businesses have been adversely impacted during the COVID-19 lockdown, he added.