COVID-19 is having a huge impact on the entire hospitality industry worldwide, impacting occupancy and sustainability. In these uncertain and difficult times, continuing its fight against COVID-19, OYO, one of the world’s leading hotel chains today announced two initiatives- ‘Donate A Night’ and ‘Book A Night for self-isolation’ to support the Government of India in its efforts to break the chain, flatten the curve and maintain the necessary nationwide lockdown.
First responders and medical professionals are working hard and spending long hours at the frontlines to protect citizens from this pandemic. They are also at the maximum risk of being exposed and contracting the virus. Besides first respondents, there are migrants who are stranded with limited access to accommodation owing to the preventive 21-day lockdown. To support such groups and ensure their wellbeing, OYO has gone live with ‘Donate A Night’, a crowdfunding campaign across its platforms including the OYO app. Through this initiative, users can voluntarily contribute to donate one night’s accommodation for people who need it the most – first responders like doctors, medical staff, emergency services personnel, policemen as well as low-income individuals such as stranded daily wagers or migrants.
OYO’s second initiative, ‘Book A Night for Self-isolation’ aims to support those individuals who require or are being advised self-isolation. These include domestic and international tourists among others who require safe and hygienic pay-per-use self-quarantine facilities, at affordable prices. The hotel chain has already opened doors to several properties spread across major hotspots of Mumbai, Gurgaon, Pune, Hyderabad and Noida. OYO will provide preventive and contactless support to individuals; including stay, meals, WiFi connectivity, and proper waste management through local municipal agencies. OYO has formulated certain guidelines to ensure the highest levels of hygiene, health and safety of guests and on-ground employees.
OYO is also working with a broad cross-section of corporates and public and private organisations to ensure that any of their employees impacted by the lockdown are able to avail affordable, accessible accommodation options in certain OYO hotels identified to help those who are stranded.
Commenting on the company’s initiatives to curb the pandemic, Rohit Kapoor, CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes, India SA said, “This is a difficult time for all of us around the world but it’s also a time to step forward and pull together all our limited resources. While the medical community and essential services professionals are doing their part at the frontlines, it is our responsibility and duty as good corporate citizens to support those who support us. While the entire country is under lockdown in an effort to self-isolate and control the outbreak for the greater good, there are many migrants and international tourists that are struggling to find hygienic and safe accommodation.”
He further added, “With Donate A Night and Book A Night, we open doors to our hotels and extend our full support to our frontline heroes, caregivers and symptomatic individuals. We urge each and everyone of our employees, asset partners and consumers to support this cause by donating one night’s accommodation for those who haven’t been able to safely self-isolate.”
The government of India on March 24, released the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines for the 21 day nationwide lockdown, which recognises under point 7, that while hospitality services will be suspended, the following exceptions will be made:
- Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, sea and aircrew.
- Establishments used/earmarked for quarantine facilities
Adhering to these guidelines laid down by the government, OYO will continue its two-pronged efforts to minimise the possibility of infection and maximise social distancing and hygiene. In line with this, OYO recently joined forces with Apollo Hospitals as a part of Apollo’s Project Stay I (Stay isolated) to develop and support accommodation requirements of suspected COVID-19 patients requiring quarantine or self-isolation.
With Travel, Hospitality & Tourism sectors among the worst affected by COVID-19, the startup also recently announced that Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes will forego 100% of his compensation for 2020, while OYOs entire executive leadership (CXOs) team takes a voluntary pay cut, starting at 25%, with many opting for an additional uncapped amount, and some going up to 50% to enable building the necessary runway for the company. OYO has also facilitated accommodation support to international tourists and engaged with multiple foreign embassies and diplomatic missions in India.
(With the Inputs of PTI).