afaqs! news bureau

OYO launches COVID-19 travel assistance, facilitates infection testing for customers

The OYO app will feature state-wise travel guidelines and facilitate COVID-19 testing via health partners SRL Diagnostics, 1mg and Indus Health Plus.

OYO Hotels & Homes has launched a dedicated section to provide travel-related assistance on the OYO app in India. It provides access to state-wise travel guidelines including E- Pass/Entry registration requirement, visibility to restrictions while booking a hotel and quarantine requirements.

The move is based on the insight that 80 per cent of OYO consumers planning travel are searching for sanitised stays, while 46 per cent seek regulation-related information while making decisions.

OYO will also provide COVID-19 testing assistance to consumers on its app, in partnership with SRL Diagnostics, 1mg and Indus Health Plus. The partners will enable tests through ICMR approved pathology labs. The move is aimed at ensuring ease of mind for consumers while planning future travels.

Once the consumer books an OYO hotel or home for a destination that mandates the traveller to carry a COVID-19 Negative Certificate, they will receive an auto-call back option from a trusted pathology lab for the COVID-19 test.

Commenting on the developments, Rohit Kapoor, CEO, India and South Asia - OYO, said, “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve worked round the clock to lay the groundwork to make OYO the consumer’s first choice when they think about travelling again, safely. Our senior leaders have personally spoken with nearly 2000+ consumers to understand their aspirations and worries, their concerns, and their requirements. We hope with our efforts to ensure a seamless and informative planning process for consumers looking to travel safely, we can contribute to their journeys from the very beginning, and in turn, contribute to the robust return of India’s tourism ecosystem.”

Kapoor added, “The 2nd October long weekend is just around the corner and we believe our partnership with the pathology labs will bring a sense of ease to our customers who are planning their travels.”

Given the reality around COVID-19, leisure travel took a backseat to business or essential travel in the past couple of months, leaving little room for recovery of predominantly tourist destinations. However, on the brighter side, with each unlocking phase and the reopening of states, there’s a positive upswing for consumers aspiring to travel in the next three months. As per OYO’s consumer use cases, 56 per cent of consumers will be travelling for leisure while 43 per cent would travel for business. When asked about their next travel destination, most respondents opted for Kerala, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan. Amongst these, 45 per cent of leisure travelers would prefer hill stations like Shimla, Mussoorie while the remaining 55 per cent of leisure travelers would prefer non-hill station destinations like Goa, Agra, and Jaipur.

Recently, OYO crossed the 50 million app downloads mark, with India leading with the most downloads followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, the USA, and Brazil. Across India, the top five cities with the most downloads include New Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Lucknow and Hyderabad. Interestingly, in 2020, on average, the company witnessed 32 app installs per minute.