The Tourism Ministry has formulated the scheme for the approval /re-approval of Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs).
What is an OTA?
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 internet as a medium.
About the Scheme for the approval /re-approval of OTAs
- The recognition as an approved OTA shall be granted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, for five years, based on the Inspection Report / Recommendations of a Committee
- The aim of the voluntary scheme open to bonafide OTA is to bring them on a common platform in the organised sector
- The scheme is also expected to set standards towards accreditation and add value to the dependability and reliability to the aggregators
Common National Standards for Homestays and bed & breakfasts (B&Bs)
- According to the guidelines, properties where their owners or promoters physically reside will be designated as homestay establishment. On the other hand, those where only an agent or operator resides will be designated as bed & breakfast.
- The properties will be categorised as silver and gold on the basis of the facilities they offer.