Now tourists visiting any of the Tourist Complexes in Haryana do not have to make bookings on arrival at the Front Office. One can plan, choose a resort, check room availability and make a booking online anytime, anywhere.
The main activity of the Tourism Department is to develop tourism infrastructure and promote tourism in the state, both in public as well as private sector.
Tourist resorts of Haryana are managed by Haryana Tourism Corporation (HTC) – a pioneer in Highway Tourism that operates 42 Tourist Complexes equipped with 838 air-conditioned rooms, 42 Multi-cuisine restaurants, 53 Convention Centers and 14 filling stations. It also organises popular Surajkund International Crafts Mela every year between 1st-15th February at Faridabad. HTC has been active in projecting the state as a center for trade and commerce.
Due to non-availability of information about tourist places and hotel availability position, there was a shortfall in revenue and citizen access to places of tourist interest, viz., Kurukshetra, Pinjore, etc.
To address these problems, HTC set up an e-commerce web portal – http://haryanatourism.gov.in – integrating online room availability/booking and online e-ticketing for fairs, in August 2009 and 2012 respectively. This can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. A Resort Counter has been set up across 42 of its resorts, wherein anyone can book the room in these resorts. Further, HTC has entered into arrangement with 36 travel agents who have been given access to make online bookings.
The customer base was limited and they were not able to avail various promotional schemes launched by HTC from time to time. There was also no mechanism to maintain the record of each category of room for every Tourist Complex, nor was there any system of feedback.
Surajkund Crafts Mela has become an international fair wherein over 20 countries participate. On an average it is visited by over a million people from both India and abroad. Physical sale and collection of tickets was cumbersome and the crowds were difficult to manage. Moreover, the manual sale of tickets prevented HTC to leverage its potential in terms of revenue that a fair like this could generate.
NIC, Haryana was selected to study and develop the portal in collaboration with HTC. A portal keeping in mind, to provide all the facilities of the existing system; removal of shortcomings of the existing system; and, to fulfill the objective defined for the new system was developed. All aspects of security related to financial transactions and data were taken into consideration and the system rolled out.
Capacity building programmes and training workshops were conducted for over 800 employees at these complexes. Ease of use and increase in productivity led the employees to get used to new technologies faster than expected. Even the employees at the corporate HQ were imparted computer training. Surprisingly, all employees took it in their stride.
The web portal is integrated with online room booking system; e-ticketing; and, content management system. Customers now have the facility to book, amend, avail concessions, check-in and check-out, make payment and even cancellations online. The system is transparent, efficient and cost effective and has provided for the management to publish promotions, schemes and offers for special occasions. Computerisation has made provisions for withdrawing any room for maintenance. It has also significantly reduced fraudulent and corrupt practices and reduced the turnaround time.
Financial monitoring, occupancy reporting, daily reconciliation, inventory management and periodic audit has created enough headroom for HTC to expand and proliferate its network.