A long stay product offering could range from a weeks to months-long staycation, or long-term rentals at OYO properties.

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, Softbank-backed budget hospitality startup OYO on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 said that long-term stays have a plus over its other offerings, as customers would like to rent a whole property for themselves.

“Long stay as a product in hotels has legs, so we've already launched an extended stay product. We feel that there's a particular advantage that our homes business will have, because some consumers will prefer taking entire homes for themselves in these times,” Rohit Kapoor, CEO for India and South Asia at OYO, told TechCircle. The corporate will know exactly how the play shapes up when the world resumes functions, he said.

A long stay product offering could range from a weeks to months-long staycation, or long-term rentals at OYO properties.

“My own sense is that we’re watching a recovery starting within the next quarter... returning to pre-Covid levels, if you ask people, the range is anywhere between six months and 24 months. I’m more towards the six months side, than the 24 months side, but that’s just me. I don’t have any data or information which is more scientific than what all of you've got immediately,” the chief executive said, when asked about OYO’s return to normalcy, at a web news conference.

Separately, inbound enquiries for rooms and repair resumption at OYO have gone up 30%-40% since May 3, Kapoor said. It’s going to be noted that travel for leisure isn't allowed as per the newest lockdown guidelines announced by the govt.

“We have such a lot inbound demand immediately, coming from companies who want to startup or keep their employees next to their IT offices. You’ve got factories opening up -- they’re posing for five hotels next to the factory to accommodate the staff. So i feel we've to disassociate from the very fact that hotels are all about leisure, fine dining and goodies. It surely is that. But that’s one a part of the story. It’s about keeping the essential economic activity getting into the country.

For us, the most important request is -- give us the protocol, give us the rules. We’ve our own, we're happy to adopt more if that involves the govt, but slowly, allow us to operate,” Kapoor said. As and when tourism services in India return to normalcy, the country won't see a unified approach across its geographies, Kapoor added.

“So there are these zones where demands devour are going to be quick because the Covid-19 cases are low there. There are zones where nothing will happen for 2 months, maybe. So we’ll almost need to affect India as 300-400 different micro-markets,” Kapoor said.

On the occupancy rates and performance of OYO’s land lines of business, which ranges from hotels to co-working and co-living spaces, the India business head said that the typical occupancy is irrelevant during an epidemic.

“I have a really vast network. Today, if the whole network is pack up by, almost, (sic) government guidelines, occupancy has no meaning. I even have hotels which have opened at 40% occupancy because that they had a particular demand coming in, to hotels which are running 100% (occupancy), which are next to a hospital,” Kapoor said. Commenting on China’s recuperation levels within the hospitality sector, Kapoor said that the market has shown faster-than-expected return in services.

“I don't handle China, but as a part of the leadership team at OYO, I can confirm that China is leading the planet in recovery, from a business standpoint… The budget segment is clearly leading the way... the posh and premium segments are trailing, they've also come up, but significantly but the budget segment,” Kapoor added.

The interaction was a part of a press briefing where the Ritesh Agarwal-founded firm laid out the operations and safety measures it plans to undertake in 1,000 hotels within the next 10 days.

The company said it’s introduced no-touch check-ins and check-outs, also as social distancing code in other services in the least its member hotels. It’ll also display a ‘sanitized stays’ tag to assist customers identifies a OYO-run hotel’s preparedness levels, it added. It aims to implement the measures altogether of its 18,000 hotels within the country.

Edited by Dhivya A

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