Online travel aggregator (OTA) MakeMyTrip is reportedly planning to opt out of the government scheme on accreditation of OTAs. The aggregator maintains that its platform can’t be assessed for the quality of service of the inventory offered on it since it is a technology platform.
The tourism ministry on December 10, 2018, had issued a set of guidelines for the accreditation of OTAs — including bed-and-breakfast establishments, homestay operators, and hotels — to ensure adequate safeguards. Moreover, several OTA players were operating without any government accreditation and validation, the ministry said.
While releasing the guidelines, the ministry had said, “These guidelines are required to be adhered to by all the OTAs seeking approval/re-approval under the OTA category by the Ministry of Tourism and will come into force with immediate effect.”
According to a report by ET, the company’s CEO, Deep Kalra, has communicated to the tourism ministry that his company would not like to be a part of the OTA accreditation scheme for now.
“They have said right now they will not be able to do so. Their definition is that they are a technology platform. They are not responsible for service delivery,” the report cited an official familiar with the development.
The accreditation, the ministry had said, was aimed at adding value to the dependability and reliability of travel aggregators and bringing them on a common platform in the organised sector.
“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 official cited above told ET.
MakeMyTrip did not respond to Inc42’s query at the time of publishing this report.
The Gurugram-headquartered MakeMyTrip generated 31.4% Y-o-Y growth in adjusted revenue, reaching $179.9 Mn for the third quarter of FY 2018-19. The company posted that its gross bookings increased to $1.4 Bn, against $1.2 Bn in Q2 FY 2018-19.
India’s OTT market is expected to touch $13.6 Bn by 2021, accounting for almost 43% of the total travel category in the country, according to a report by Praxis Global.
Over the past few months, online hotel booking companies such as OYO, MakeMyTrip, and GoIbibo are facing the heat from hotel associations over an alleged contract breach, arbitrary revisions of commission rates, stopping minimum guarantee amounts, etc.
Among the list of OTA guidelines, the ministry has asked all OTA companies to adhere with the “Safe and Honourable Tourism” code of conduct, and also directed them to appoint a grievance officer and publish his/her name and contact details on their websites.