Helping agents through UN

Sachin Mehta, Founder, Stuti Tourism, who is also the Travel & Tourism Domain Coordinator for UN-CEFACT, proposes several projects that aim to help travel agents, hotels, and the tourism industry at large to have systems that can help millions of businesses globally.

Hazel Jain

Sachin Mehta, Founder, Stuti Tourism, who is also the Travel & Tourism Domain Coordinator for UN-CEFACT (United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation & Electronic Business), recently attended an UN-CEFACT forum at UNESCAP Bangkok where he made several project proposals that aim to help the travel and hospitality industries in India and across the globe. “These forums take place twice a year. The team across the world has been working on various projects. Among them are those that will help travel agents, hotels, and the tourism industry at large to have systems that can help millions of businesses. It’s a privilege to work on projects that can help the tourism industry have systems in place that will help millions of businesses and entrepreneurs,” Mehta explains.

White paper on sustainable tourism

Mehta says, “The projects that we have in UN-CEFACT is with the intent of creating tourism opportunities in lesser-known places. For instance, we had created a project called Small-scaled Lodging Houses (SLHs). They are hotels or any type of lodging facilities where people stay primarily for leisure rather than business. This is already on the UN platform for everyone to participate in. This is something like what AirBnB does; it is free for the travel industry to take on. Anyone who wants to build such platform can take our help. It’s an open source and available for all.”

One project he completed was on standardising and labelling sustainability. “The travel industry is heading towards sustainability. We recently completed a white paper on this. We have jotted down points in each of the sectors like restaurants and hotels, travel agencies that help them in assessing themselves on certain parameters under 17 sustainability goals,” he adds.

API transformation

Another project that he is working on proposes to make API available to the trade for experiential tourism. “We have completed an API transformation of EPs (Experience Programme) technical artefacts with sustainability claims. What we are attempting is the way we can trade hotel rooms and airline tickets online. Once this becomes a commercially viable project, we can have local experience providers (like bird-watchers and artists) across the world,” Mehta adds.

Package tour project

Explaining a third proposal to the forum, Mehta says, “We have one more project for the travel trade proposed to the UN. It is the Travel Agency and DMC-DMO Package Tour Project. Today, operations is a big task. This will help standardise formats for itineraries and quotation. This project enables replacing the current emails and spreadsheets used to exchange tour package data between travel agencies, mostly SMEs, and DMC and Destination Managing Organization (DMO) with harmonised data and comments. It will help agents share itineraries and quotations. These projects will help across the world and not limited to India. As you know, India’s travel industry is very fragmented which is why we are going through the UN route.”

Projects proposed by UN-CEFACT

  • White paper on sustainable tourism
  • Encourage use of technology
  • API transformation of EPs technical artefacts with sustainability claims project
  • Travel Agency and DMC-DMO Package Tour Project

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