Tag Archives: FHRAI

FHRAI requests MOT’s urgent intervention in OTAs v/s hotels dispute

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has reached out to the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) regarding the hotel industry’s ongoing dispute with Goibibo, MakeMyTrip and OYO requesting its urgent intervention for redressal of hoteliers’ grievances. After a month of failed attempts to amicably resolve issues with the Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs), the apex hospitality body has written to KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) Tourism, outlining the major issues of concern to the industry because of the OTAs’ unfair and arbitrary business practices. A number of FHRAI’s members are experiencing hardships due to the OTAs’ business ethics which are exploitative, unethical and divisive, leading to predatory pricing and other market distortions. The letter to the Ministry states that the hotel industry in the country is going through a very challenging phase which is threatening the livelihood, business, investments and entrepreneurial initiative and spirits of the hospitality industry, and thereby eroding the viability of the sector. “The hotel industry, especially the budget and mid-market hotel segment is reeling under the adverse business tactics of the OTAs. The OTAs’ malpractices are affecting the hoteliers’ livelihood and business. These hoteliers who are part of the local and city hotel Associations across the country have approached FHRAI seeking consultation and support, and are in solidarity with the Federation. The FHRAI has tried to resolve the issue directly with the OTAs, however instead its CEO has chosen to dismiss FHRAI’s role in the matter. It leaves us with no choice but to ask for the Government to step in and create a norm for the OTAs just as the Commerce Ministry has done for the e-tailers recently,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, …

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We are not ‘dictating’: FHRAI reacts to Deep Kalra’s statement

After MakeMyTrip (MMT) group’s chief executive Deep Kalra’s recent comment that the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI) has no locus standi to determine commercial agreements between MMT and the establishments on its platform, Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, VP, FHRAI, says, “Goibibo and MMT have been exploitive, unethical and adapted divisive business practices, leading to predatory pricing, market distortions and cannibalisation. I fail to see how our letter clearly worded as requesting to “resolve” the situation would be misconstrued as trying to “dictate” terms. India has approximately 100,000 establishments which provide accommodation. Approximately, 65,000 are structured licensed establishments, out of which around 45,000 hotels are stand-alone hotels. “FHRAI has never got involved all these years in any negotiations with standalone vendors but takes a strong stand when the industry faces any outside coercion or intimidation. It is only when 1000’s of hoteliers realised Goibibo and MMT’s arrogant method of pressurising the small hotels in high commissions, more free rooms, started price control on the owners. FHRAI has, in its fiduciary duty stepped in to amicably resolve matters. Please note FHRAI is not here to negotiate as wrongly being projected. It is here to ensure that agencies like MMT and Goibibo do not take the industry for granted by parenting such market conditions in which it would be difficult to do business for one party but a win-win situation for the other.” He further said, “Going back to December 7, 2018, whilst the Ahmedabad Hoteliers blocked GOMMT in the city, Kalra wanted to sit with FHRAI and work out the issues. The team sent to “resolve” arrived but with a fixed agenda of “fixing” only commissions that too by a paltry reduction …

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FHRAI meets MakeMyTrip officials to discuss reduction in commission charges by OTAs

The Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI), along with its regional associations, met four representatives from MakeMyTrip to discuss reduction of the commission charged by the OTAs to 15-18 per cent. The meeting was attended by Surendra Jaiswal, President, HRANI and Vice President, FHRAI, along with Garish Oberoi, Immediate Past President, FHRAI and Treasurer, HRANI. Also present at the meeting were Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, President, HRAWI, along with some of the Executive Committee members. Another points discussed in the meeting include ceasing discretionary positioning and self-rating by properties since they have no authority to rate hotels or mention star ratings based on reviews; no predatory pricing and no further discount on rooms without consent of hotels. Apart from it, the association wants that discounting on rooms and its display will be done after the express consent of the hotel and not via the extranet. Several other points raised in the meeting included the service charge on hotel room booking to be rephrased and given a different nomenclature to avoid taxation issues for the hotel, the burden of the loyalty points and discounts passed to their guests to be borne by them from the commission and not to be passed to hotels, a full break-up of pricing in case rate is displayed with full board, commission to be levied on room only and the component of food should not attract any commission, PLBs only with express agreement with hotels not blanket, PLB taxation to be borne by MMT and not the hotel and illegal hotels apartments, B&B to be immediately delisted from the portals — only legal  properties to be listed.

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MOT formulates guidelines for approval of Online Travel Aggregators

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has formulated the guidelines for approval/re-approval of Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs). 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 organised tourism sector. This is a voluntary scheme open to bonafide online travel aggregators to bring them on a common platform in the organised sector and the guidelines will be rolled out online by year end. There are several players in the OTA segment operating now without any accreditation/validation. One of the risks of letting the market operate unhindered is that unscrupulous players can vitiate the entire market through unethical trade practices. In order to engage with the OTAs constructively, it is imperative that a system is put in place with qualitative benchmarks to accredit them. The paramount concern would be the assurance of quality of service delivery for the customer by the OTA. The major features of the guidelines are: 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 comprising the concerned Regional Director (RD), a representative of FHRAI and a representative of IATO, and approval of Competent Authority (Chairman, HRACC); the re-approval shall be granted for five years after inspection conducted by a committee of the same constitution, based upon an application, complete and free from all deficiencies, made by OTA along with the requisite fee/documents on the online platform, at least a clear 6 months prior to the expiry of the previous approval. In case the application is complete in all respects and free from all deficiencies is …

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FHRAI puts MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice to protect the interest of stakeholders

In response to grievances expressed by its members, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has put Online Travel Aggregators (OTA), MakeMyTrip and Goibibo on notice. A number of its members had brought to the association’s notice that the OTAs’ business practices which were exploitative, unethical and divisive led to predatory pricing and other market distortions that had the potential to harm both hoteliers and consumers in the long term. FHRAI has written a letter to the OTAs outlining the most critical concerns of the hotel industry which includes the issue of distortion of market price, demand for exorbitant commissions and hosting of illegal and unlicensed bed and breakfast accommodations. “One of the biggest concerns is that after securing discounted rates from a hotel, the OTAs further discount it on their online platforms without the hotel’s consent. This damages the hotel’s reputation, and also simultaneously distorts the market scenario. Ironically, the OTAs have a clause in their agreement that forbids hotels from discounting their own rates but are themselves free to do so. This disparity is not just unfair but is clearly intentional and is done with the objective of market cannibalisation,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President – FHRAI & President – Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI). Hotels have alleged that the OTAs charge commission that range anywhere between 18 and 40 per cent. The exorbitant commissions have been adversely impacting revenues, business and the livelihood of hoteliers. The Federation has written to MMT and Goibibo in the hope that they will understand the ground level situation of hotels. However, based on the previous experience of hoteliers whose attempts at negotiations were neglected …

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Rooms revenue contributed 53.6% to total hotel industry earnings in 2016-17

According to a latest research study by Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), in 2016-17, rooms revenue contributed a notable 53.6 per cent to the total hotel industry revenue, an increase over its percentage share in 2015-16, and an improvement from the declining trend exhibited in the years 2012-13 to 2014-15. On the other hand, contribution from Food & Beverage and Banquets declined to 39.5 per cent from 41.5 per cent recorded in 2015-16. The contribution of the other operating departments has remained range-bound,with a marginal increase recorded in 2016-17 over the previous fiscal.

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A mixed bag for hospitality: Garish Oberoi

Garish Oberoi, President, FHRAI, says the hospitality industry has been repeatedly asking for infrastructure status which hasn’t been mentioned this year as well. “Among the positives in the Budget is the Rs. 500 crore allocation for ‘Operation Green’ to promote Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management,” Oberoi adds. He notes that focus on technology is very relevant in this digital age. “The Budget allocated to the Railways to the tune of Rs. 148, 528 crore to build infrastructure, laying tracks, Wi-Fi and CCTVs will help improve them. In tourism 10 prominent tourist sites will be made into national tourist sites. New Greenfield Airports are in the offing and building airport capacities to handle 1 billion trips can give a boost to connectivity. Post demonetisation and GST many hotels have become Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). We still await measures by the government to deal with NPAs. In totality, the Budget is more for the ease of living and not so much the ease of doing business. While the focus on healthcare and education is commendable, the biggest challenges to growth and employment generation are low credit offtake and ease of doing business, neither have been supported by the Budget,” Oberoi says.

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UP to host International Conclave in Lucknow from Feb 20, 2018

With an aim to promote the tourism avenues of Uttar Pradesh in the world, Government of Uttar Pradesh is set to organise International Conclave from February 20-22, 2018 in Lucknow. A meeting of stakeholders chaired by Akhand Pratap Singh, IAS, Special Secretary, Department of Tourism, Govt of UP & Managing Director, UP State Tourism Development Corporation Limited was held on November 29 at Paryatan Bhawan, Lucknow. Surendra Kumar Jaiswal, President, Uttar Pradesh Hotel & Restaurant Association (UPHRA) who is also Hony. Secretary of FHRAI and HRANI along with fellow hoteliers and stakeholders attended the meeting to discuss the roadmap of the event.

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Rahul Lall appointed Secretary General for FHRAI

Rahul Lall has been appointed as the Secretary General for FHRAI (Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India). He completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management from The Oberoi School of Hotel Management, New Delhi. He is from the Management Trainee batch(1985-1987). Prior to this he did his Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Delhi University. He is an alumnus of St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, Kolkata and Don Bosco School, Chennai. He brings with him over 30 years of progressive hotel experience spanning renowned hotel chains across the country. He has extensive operational, administrative and bottom line management experience. Coupled with a strong leadership and financial skill sets, he is ideally suited to take on the responsibilities of running the day-to-day administration of FHRAI. A Professional hotelier, he has worked with the Oberoi Group of Hotels for 15 years and thereafter with Sarovar Hotels. He has been in various capacities as General Manager, Area Director and Vice President Operations. He has over seen pre-opening and successful openings of various hotels. Prior to joining FHRAI he held the role of the Vice President Operations for the Dangayach Group of Hotels (Marriott Jaipur, Ramada Jaipur, Chomu Palace Hotel Jaipur, Four Points by Sheraton Agra and Park Plaza, Jaipur).

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Garish Oberoi is the new FHRAI President

The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has elected Garish Oberoi as its President for the term September 2017-2018. This was announced during the federation’s 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Le Meridien New Delhi, on Sept 23. A seasoned hotelier, Oberoi has been in the hospitality industry for over three decades. He previously held the post of Vice President & Treasurer, FHRAI. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from IIFT and is a Graduate in Economics from the University of Delhi. Also, Surinder Jaiswal has been elected as the Honorary Secretary of FHRAI. Speaking on the occasion, Oberoi said, “I am very grateful for this opportunity. I would want to move ahead taking together all stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality fraternity. Key focus would be on getting the GST reduced further to at least 12 per cent. I would also be emphasising on skill development and increasing FHRAI membership base. The next FHRAI Convention will be taking place in the heritage city of Lucknow.” Oberoi is the former Director of Chandigarh Industrial & Tourism Corporation Ltd. He has been a special examiner of Hotel Management & Catering Technology at Rohilkhand University and has been Asst. Governor of Rotary Bareilly. Besides being on the Advisory Board of Carnegie Mellon University’s Indian subsidiary, Oberoi holds important position in several social and educational organisations of Bareilly. He is a keen golfer as well. As the President, Oberoi will supervise and guide the administration of the Federation that is run on a day-to-day basis by the Secretary General and the Secretariat.

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