Registration of Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs)
Registration of Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs)
The Ministry of Tourism has launched a voluntary scheme for Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs) that is open to bonafide online travel aggregators mainly to bring them on a common platform in the organized sector. The scheme objective is to encourage quality standards and services in OTA category so as to promote tourism in India and abroad. Let us look in detail about the Registration of Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs) in this article.
To know about Licenses and Registration Required for Hotel Business
The guidelines for approval and re-approval is expected to add value to the reliability and dependability to the aggregators in the online term operating in the organised tourism sector.
The below listed are the checklist that has to be furnished along with the application of the Approval of OTAs or Re-approval of OTAs.
- Three copies of recently completed audited Balance Sheets to verify the operations for 3 years and also check for the minimum paid-up capital of Rs.1 crore.
- A certificate of paid-up capital by the Statutory Auditor of the firm.
- Income Tax returns of past two assessment years (may also include the IT return for the current financial year)
- Area of the registered office (to be specified in sq.ft.)
- The pledge of safe and Hon’ble Tourism has to be displayed on the premises as well as in the OTA website.
- The grievance officer’s name and contact details to be published on the OTA website
- Must be registered under the Shops and Establishments Act.
- Copy of Incorporation Certificate under companies Act.
- Copy of Partnership Deed and Registration Certificate
- Copy of Certificate of Registration ID proof on the lease or sole proprietorship.
- Affidavit on the Non-judicial stamp paper of Rs.100 that to regard the adherence to the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)
- Certificate of Firm Registration as per Section 24(x) of the CGST Act, 2017
- Statement and records on the number of offices in India, total employees and deployment of employees in each location. Contact details and addresses of all offices in India, contact person (duly authorised) in each location, address, phone numbers, email address and the Lay-out Plan of all floors of all such premises.
- Website of the applicant entity to be stated (if more than one website, then each website to be stated separately).
- The reference letter from the bank on its original letterhead regarding the applicant firm’s bank account and address along with the telephone numbers specified.
- Proof of order of decision (if classified earlier).
- Copy of approvals, memberships – national and international, Government Industry and professional bodies.
- All the documents/certificates to be signed and stamped by the Managing Director (MD), Managing Partner, Proprietor and also an authorized signatory of the firm.
- If it is found that the OTA has not obtained any clearance certificate from the Local Authorities (Panchayat or Municipal offices) and or from the State Government, Union Territory Administration or Government of India, then the approval will be withdrawn with the immediate effect.
- The application can also be withdrawn if any fact that is mentioned in the application form seeking the approval or re-approval is incorrect.
- The authorized representative of the OTA such as Director, Owner, Partner, Chairman, Managing Director or CEO would be liable for facing criminal proceedings for the misrepresentation of the facts to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
Procedure for the Approval/Re-approval of OTA
The applicant has to follow the below application procedure for the Approval/Re-approval of OTAs.
Access the Website
Step 1: The application for the approval process of OTA can be submitted online by accessing the official website of Classification, Approval and Occupancy of Hotels.
New User Registration
Step 2: In the case of a new user, the applicant will have to get registered in the official portal by clicking on the “New Registration” link which will direct to the registration page.
Step 3: Here, the applicant has to fill out the registration form with all requested details such as OTA name, Address, Pin Code, Phone number, select the Type of Hotel/OTA, Owner Status, Contact Person details, etc. Also create the user id, password and enter the image text given and then click on the submit button.
Login to Portal
Step 4: Then log in with the registered User ID and Password.
Step 5: After Login, a new window will appear, where the applicant will have to Apply for the Approval/Re-approval for the particular category or have to upload the “Approval Letter” if already an approved hotelier.
Step 6: The following form will get opened after clicking on the link “Apply for Approval/Re-approval of OTAs”.
Fill out the Right Credentials
Step 7: The details of hotelier like hotel name, address, city, phone number, officer name, email address etc.
Step 8: After entering all the details, the applicant will have to click on the “save and proceed” button.
Step 9: Now upload all the documents that are mentioned above then click on “save and proceed” button.
Step 10: The uploaded documents that are received from applicants after scrutiny in all respects would be acknowledged online.
Step 11: The OTA would be needed to pay a non-refundable fee of Rs.25000/- while applying for the approval/re-approval of OTAs. The fee will be made payable to the Pay and Accounts Officer, the Ministry of Tourism in the form of online payment.
Step 12: The inspection for first approval/re-approval of OTAs would be conducted by the Inspection Team within the time frame of 40 working days from the receipt of the complete and deficiency-free application and confirmation of the fee payment by Pay & Accounts Office, Ministry of Tourism.
Note: It is mandatory for an approved OTA to display the Certificate of approval given by the Ministry of Tourism in the office premises by displaying it in a photo frame to make it visible to a potential tourist and also make available under an obvious link on the home page of its main online portal/website.
Final Decision of Appellate Authority
The decision of MOT, GOI in the subject of approval/re-approval would be final. In case of any disapproval with the decision of the HRACC, the hotel would appeal to the Secretary (Tourism), Government of India for the review and reconsideration within 30 days of receiving the communication regarding Classification/Re-classification. The OTA granted approval/re-approval would be entitled to such incentives and concessions as that are to be granted by the Government from time to time and would abide by the terms and conditions of the recognition as prescribed from time to time by the MOT, GOI.