HAI to forge stronger ties and collaborate with other industry bodies: Puneet Chhatwal

HAI to forge stronger ties and collaborate with other industry bodies: Puneet Chhatwal

Hotel Association of India (HAI), the national apex body of the hotel industry and an integrated hospitality industry platform held its 25th Annual General Meeting on the 16th of March in New Delhi. In his presidential address at the meeting, Mr. Chhatwal emphasised the need to forge closer ties and collaborate with other industry bodies for a stronger and a more unified voice. While highlighting the pandemic related challenges confronting the Industry, Mr. Chhatwal commended the tremendous resilience and enormous innovation shown by the sector. While the industry is firmly on the road to recovery, supply chain disruptions, subdued employment growth, rising inflation, food insecurity, the setback to human capital accumulation, supply-demand mismatches, and climate change will continue to pose difficulties and would be  some of the key issues of concern going forward. He said “International travel has gone back 30 years globally and the ripple effect of tourism is affecting the economy of countries. Indian hospitality sector has rebounded due to various components of domestic travel and a vigorous internal demand.”

hai 1Mr. Chhatwal saluted the tireless work done by the Association in its interaction and interventions with the governments at all levels to save and protect the industry through desired relief measures.  He expressed his pride and joy at the good Samaritan work done by the industry and by the HAI Member hotels in providing relief and comfort of meals, sanitised accommodation and safety equipment to the healthcare fraternity, migrant labour, sanitation workers and stranded tourists. HAI Members stood united with the government in fighting the pandemic. Hotels served as quarantine centres and even augmented the hospital bed capacities.    

Lauding the HAI State Chapters, Mr. Chhatwal mentioned that the chapters played an instrumental role in the successes that the industry witnesses today. According of ‘Industry’ status to hotels by the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan, Introduction of some positive and welcome changes in the State tourism policies by Punjab and Telangana, extension of financial support to hotels by the states of Odisha, Gujarat, and Rajasthan have been possible on account of efforts at the regional level.

The HAI President, Mr. Chhatwal thanked the Hon’ble Prime Minister for urging Indians to see their country and visit tourist destinations to help revive local economies. Complimenting the announcement of the PM Gatishakti to strengthen the infrastructure of rail, roads, ports etc Mr. Chhatwal stated that it would support the growth and development of tourism in the long-term.  the Ministry of Tourism’s Campaign “Dekho Apna Desh” is helping the sector by promoting domestic tourism.

Concluding his address to the Members on an optimistic note, Mr. Chhatwal mentioned that a lot more is required to be done. HAI will continue its efforts using all possible  modes of communication , media coverage,  engagement with  stakeholders and members . The industry needs to set newer benchmarks and attain fresh goals. He called for the continued support of the Members in playing a meaningful role in the growth and development of the Indian hospitality industry urging hoteliers to work together, responsibly and in a sustainable manner to take the industry to new heights in its contribution to national economy to build a stronger India – an Atma Nirbhar India. In the process, he cautioned, let us never forget the dictum that has been the industry’s guiding mantra: Atithi Devo Bhava.

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