India’s restaurants and hotels are not giving online aggregators enough credit

As travel and eating out resume in post-pandemic India, the love-hate relationship between hotels and restaurant owners and online aggregators of their services has come to the fore—yet again.

On Feb. 26, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) initiated the #GoDirect, #BookDirect, and #OrderDirect campaigns on social media to urge patrons to connect with businesses directly instead of going through popular travel portals such as MakeMyTrip and Yatra, and food delivery apps such as Swiggy and Zomato. The association, which represents 55,000 hotels and 500,000 restaurants across the country, believes that intermediaries are biting into the revenues of their members, and making it hard for them to survive amid a tough business environment.

“Unsuspecting maverick startup 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,” said DVS Soma Raju, honorary treasurer of FHRAI. “We are hoping that with our customers’ support, we will be able to give hotels and restaurants a fighting chance at sustaining business.”

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