With the government guidelines allowing hotels to resume operations in the country on Monday, hotel chain OYO has reopened its properties in select cities of 13 states and four union territories as of now. “It has been a long wait, but we’re delighted to welcome our guests once again to our select hotels across India,” OYO Founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal tweeted. Present in 28 states and nine union territories in India, OYO along with other hotels, restaurants, shopping malls etc. had to halt operations during the lockdown as per the Ministry of Home Affairs’ guidelines. The company has now restarted operations in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chandigarh, Puducherry, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Daman & Diu.
OYO will accept customer bookings for properties that are cleared as per the company ‘Sanitised Stay’ initiative launched last month to brace hotels for reopening. Sanitisation of properties along with use of masks, gloves, sanitizers, practising social distancing among workers and guests, requesting guests to carry their own luggage, temperature checks of staff and guests are measures incorporated by the company under the initiative. OYO looks to implement this across all 18,000 OYO hotels in India.
Covid-19 had unfortunately hit OYO weeks after it undertook restructuring exercise wherein it laid off 5,000 people from its China, India and the US workforce and had exited from around 200 cities in India. In April, the company had reportedly furloughed thousands of employees in the US and other markets on leaves and furloughs for two-three months. In a video message to employees, Agarwal had claimed around 50 per cent – 60 per cent decline in revenues due to Covid crisis. OYO, otherwise, has been present in 80 countries and 800 cities.
In a fireside chat last week, OYO Indi and South Asia COO Gaurav Ajmera said that the company will recover faster from the current situation than other chains. “From an industry perspective, recovery will be a function of demand type and asset type. Businesses will see a U-shaped to a V-shaped recovery, whereas, leisure will see a prolonged U-shaped or swoosh-shaped recovery. This can be seen in China which as a country has shown very positive signs of recovery,” Ajmera said.