Akansha Pandey | New Delhi
There is no body in India connecting the sales force of hotels to the frontline staff of the offline tour operating companies along with educating the students in tourism. The Indian Hospitality Help Desk (IHHD) is filling this crucial gap taking the opportunities in the lap of the operations workforce, who indeed are the real backbone of the travel companies, highlighted Ankush Nijhawan, Co-founder, Travel Boutique Online, the prime sponsors of the event along with Nijhawan Group, on the sidelines of the conclave yesterday at NCUI Auditorium in New Delhi.
Travel has evolved as a product big time, unlike the niche it used to be years back, he said. Immense fleet expansion and the addition of room inventory is slated to happen in the Indian tourism industry in the years to come, making the country the most significant tourism market across the globe.
However, in today’s business scenario, the Online Travel Agents (OTAs) are one such animal the offline trade will have to tame, sooner or later. Hence, technology adoption, innovation and diversification in business is crucial for survival today, more than ever. We all use online mediums to book in our daily life. Thus instead of shying away from technology, it’s time to embrace and empower, stated Nijhawan.
Calling it a “Different” initiative, Neeraj Rustagi, Founder & CEO, Regency Tours officially launched the IHHD website along with the core team. He categorically reinstated that IHHD will be a non-profit working for the welfare of the offline travel trade and “not an association.”
“IHHD will address the pertinent issues of the tourism industry and connect hotel sales representatives with offline operators and their frontline staff. However, IHHD will connect them on an individual basis. Also, foreseeing the numerous challenges in the business scenario, it aims to educate the middle and junior level staff for future survival. These days trade associations are driven by companies or people with ulterior motives. We don’t want to replicate them,” he added.
Talking about IHHD’s inception, Rajiv Chawla, Founder & CEO, Honeygold Retreats said, “An idea germinated in the minds of the core team way back in April this year which has now converted into a mission. Untouched by any politics, this initiative to unite and support the trade is selfless and we aim to cover miles,” he said seemingly commenting on The Indigenous Federation of Tourism India (TIFTI).
In this maiden event, IHHD partnered with Red Cross Society where volunteers donated approximately 50 units of blood. All individuals who registered by paying Rs. 999 were also given an insurance facility from Life Insurance Corporation of India.
The event witnessed a full house of hotel sales reps, offline travel trade and students from Kurukshetra University, AMITY and Kendriya Vidyalaya with close to 400 people in attendance.
The enrolment to IHHD is complimentary. However, the registration with the insurance scheme is for Rs. 999.