FHRAI has initiated #GoDirect campaign
New Delhi, Feb 26
The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has initiated #GoDirect campaign requesting patrons to book their hotel stays - #BookDirect or order their food by contacting the restaurants directly - #OrderDirect. For over eight months, the Hospitality industry experienced its worst times and several hotels and restaurants closed. The industry has appealed to customers to support their favorite restaurants and hotels by eliminating the intermediaries and reduce the burden of exorbitant commissions levied by the online travel aggregators (OTAs) and the food service aggregators (FSAs).
The #GoDirect campaign will be supported by member hotel and restaurant establishments of the FHRAI and its regional Associations – Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI), Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India (HRAEI) and South India Hotels and Restaurants Association (SIHRA).
“The Hospitality industry is on the brink of collapse and needs urgent support. It is not just for the sake of businesses in the industry but also for the millions of people who are employed by it. Hotels and restaurants account for 35 million or around 12.5 per cent of the total employment generated in the country and supports jobs directly and indirectly across India. There is acute need for hospitality businesses to generate revenues. Businesses of OTAs and FSAs are directly dependent on hotels and restaurants and if hotels and restaurants don’t survive, the OTAs and the FSAs won’t survive either. #GoDirect is aimed at salvaging from what we have. For every order or booking made through the FSAs or OTAs, we lose anywhere between 20 to 30 per cent as commission. We request our patrons to directly visit the websites of hotels or restaurants for booking rooms - #BookDirect or for ordering food - #OrderDirect. Even if customers do switch to this practice temporarily for the next few months, it will help the Hospitality industry immensely,” says Mr Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI.
Founded in 1955, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) is India's apex Hospitality Association and the 3rd largest in the world. FHRAI represents 55,000 hotels and 5,00,000 restaurants across India. The Association has been relentlessly following up with the Government for sector specific relief and that the #GoDirect campaign is another means of trying to plug the holes of a ship that is fast sinking.
“Our hotels provided accommodation to thousands of health workers and restaurants served meals to the needy during lockdown. The hospitality industry was one of the frontline Corona Warrior but unfortunately, it did not get as much credit as it deserved. The Government has almost completely neglected us thus far and while we await any relief measures from it, we are turning to our patrons for support. If customers choose to order or book directly through a hotel’s or restaurant’s app or website, we can save this drain on revenue. The amounts saved will certainly help hotels and restaurants in rehiring redundant employees or maybe even pay the utility bills,” says Mr. Surendra Kumar Jaiswal, Vice President, FHRAI.
The pandemic is threatening the existence of the Hospitality industry with a large number of hotels and restaurants permanently closing down or considerably scaling down operations. The #GoDirect, #BookDirect and #OrderDirect campaigns are initiated with the objective of saving on exorbitant commissions which could be directed towards helping a Hospitality establishment revive.
“The FHRAI is committed to protecting hotel and restaurant establishments’ interests. As such already the aggregators have choked the entrepreneurial aspirations and enterprise of many hotels and restaurants. Unsuspecting maverick start-up founders entered the Industry with online apps and have now stifled hoteliers and restaurateurs to a point where they have very little choice but to shut shop today, or slowly bleed to death. We are hoping that with our customers’ support, we will be able to give hotels and restaurants a fighting chance at sustaining business,” concludes Mr. D V S Soma Raju, Honorary Treasurer, FHRAI.