OYO sees revival next quarter, seeks graded opening of hotels

Some of OYO’s hotels running at 80% occupancy: Kapoor

Softbank-backed OYO expects to see some revival in business starting next quarter, the company’s CEO for India and South Asia, Rohit Kapoor, said on Tuesday, adding that the hospitality firm’s only appeal to the government is to allow graded opening of hotels.

“My sense is that we are looking at a recovery starting in the next quarter and coming back to the pre-COVID levels, if you ask people, the range is anywhere between six and 24 months, I am more towards the six month side than the 24 month side… I don’t have any data or information which is more scientific,” Mr. Kapoor said.

Pointing out that currently hotel opening is only for specific purposes, for example, for hospital staff or for a quarantine, Mr. Kapoor said some of OYO’s hotels are running at 80% occupancy currently. “Are we seeing demand coming back, in terms of people enquiring more about ‘when are you opening up?’, ‘can I get a room here?’… that has gone up by 40-50% since May 3. But till the guidelines change, we won’t be able to cater to demand,” he said.

Mr. Kapoor was speaking during a conference to announce measures relating to post-lockdown preparedness, including checks for sanitisation, hygiene, and protective equipment and minimal-touch SOP for check-in and check-out, housekeeping and room service.

“Whatever money the government has for the sector should go to smaller players first, whether it is a small hotel owner or a travel operator… there’s a lot of distress there, especially [for] people who are leveraged. If that happens, it would ensure hotels don’t close.

“They will be able to pay salaries to staff; a positive virtuous cycle will come out of that,” he said.

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