Kerala: Applauding the move of the state government to open its tourist destinations and ease travel restrictions in a phased manner, one of the world’s leading hotel chains, OYO Hotels & Homes announced that it is ready to welcome guests in Kerala, starting October 12, 2020 onwards. To further support travellers, OYO has recently launched a one-stop solution for all travel-related assistance on the OYO app in India. This dedicated section gives users access to comprehensive state-wise travel guidelines including E- Pass/Entry registration requirement, visibility to restrictions while booking a hotel, and quarantine requirements. As per the latest state guidelines, domestic travellers who are planning a short trip (less than seven days) have been exempted from quarantine however it’s mandatory to register in the COVID Jagratha portal and apply for an E-Pass. For those visiting Kerala for more than seven days, it’s compulsory to produce a COVID-negative certificate within 48 hours prior to arrival or undergo COVID-19 test on arrival in the state.
Travellers can now easily book an OYO hotel well-in advance with the ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag across OYO’s booking platforms including the app, website and email helpline. OYO usually sees demand in Kerala from tourists based in neighbouring states including Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad and the company’s operations in the state currently includes presence in 19 cities, 200+ hotels and 90+ homes with 4500 rooms.
Commenting on the developments, Harshit Vyas, Chief Operating Officer – Franchise Business, India & South Asia, OYO said, “We welcome the state government’s decision to ease travel restrictions in Kerala and open tourist destinations in a phased manner. We are excited and prepared to host guests with the new sanitised stay experience at our hotels in the state. Kerala is one of India’s foremost tourist destinations and among the strongest markets for us consistently delivering high results. Our presence in the state includes hotels in prominent tourist destinations such as Kochi, Trivandrum, Calicut, and Wayanad. We recently conducted an internal consumer survey which revealed that 57% of consumers will be travelling for leisure and opted Kerala as one of the top destinations for their next trip. We’re extremely delighted to share that between 2nd October – 4th October, nearly 1.8 – 2 lakh guests spent their long weekend at OYOs across India. These green shoots for leisure travel are a positive sign of rising consumer confidence. We’re cautiously optimistic with travel coming back faster than expected. To serve the upcoming demand of leisure travel in India, we along with our asset partners, look forward to delivering a safe, secure and Sanitised Stays experience for our guests.”
Patrik Andre, owner of Hotel Fort Castle, Kochi said, “Guests now always look for hygienic properties with good reviews. We have been working together with OYO to ensure that we keep up to the requirements of the travellers. The safety standards and protocols as part of ‘Sanitised Stays’ have created confidence amongst our guests to choose OYO. As the state opens up for travellers, with the new guidelines, I’m looking forward to welcoming guests following all the safety measures providing them a stress-free holiday experience.”
As per OYO’s recent consumer survey, while there’s a surge in demand for leisure travel across the country, consumers are increasingly looking for trusted clean & sanitised stays, with 80% users searching for safe & sanitised stays. Given this, OYO has introduced several safety measures and initiatives to minimize the impact of COVID-19 as well as innovate to meet the new standards of good quality travel and hospitality experience with its ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag for properties that clear background audit checks for sanitisation, hygiene, and protective equipment. To ensure customer and hotel employees’ safety the hospitality chain has worked out minimal-touch SOPs for check-in, check-out, has conducted extensive training of on-ground teams on the revised ways of working (health-screening, disinfecting, distance markers, etc.). OYO also joined forces with Unilever, the global consumer goods company, to further enhance its sanitisation efforts across OYO’s properties.
Recently, the company announced the COVID-19 testing assistance to consumers on its app, in partnership with Dr. Lal Path Labs, SRL Diagnostics, 1mg, and Indus Health Plus who will enable tests through ICMR approved pathology labs.The company’s dedicated helpline and Yo! Help, a 24*7 real-time chat assistant also enables seamless booking experience, including hassle-free booking and flexible cancellations options.