Oyo Rooms starts offering holiday packages

Mumbai: Budget hotel aggregator Oyo Rooms (Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd) has started offering holiday packages consisting of transport, assisted services and local activities, besides stay across its leisure destinations since almost eight months, according to a top executive of the company.

“The packages are being run for the last 6-8 months,” said Kavikrut, chief growth officer, Oyo Rooms, in an interview with Mint on Tuesday. He said the packages are a result of constant customer queries around ancillary services such as cabs and guides, besides accommodation, while making a booking. He, however, added that the company has started selective outreach programme only in the last 2-3 months.

The services are being offered in partnership with local travel agents on a revenue share basis. The packages are being offered across Gangtok, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, the North East and Kashmir, among other regions, as per the website.

Kavikrut said the company had no plans to get into flight or train ticket booking business.

“We are not an OTA (online travel agency). The customer associates us with a hotel. If there is ancillary service that needs to be provided because our customers need it, we will do it,” he said. The cab service on offer consists of a ride within the destination.

The package starts around Rs.2,000-3,000 per person for one night and two days. Activities include things like river rafting in the Rishikesh package, trekking in hill stations, and so on.

According to Kavikrut, this is a very small part of the company’s offerings and is important for the start-up from the perspective of adding value for the customer. “The segment will definitely generate revenue for us but in terms of numbers these are small parts of our business,” he said.

He, however, declined to talk about the number of orders being generated.

To be sure, Oyo has also forayed in other segments, wherein it offers services beyond plain accommodation, for events like weddings, long stays, conferences and internships. The company works with different partners who can support these services. For weddings they help with banquet space and catering, for companies, they may help with sound system and group transport. The company has, however, not promoted these segments much so far.

“These are simply Oyo’s efforts to help customers who reach out to us for additional or specific support since they have already chosen to trust us with their stay,” said Kavikrut.

Oyo which competes with OTAs including Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip and Naspers-backed Goibibo also entered into the hotel leasing business under a program called Oyo Flagship, earlier this year. It allows the company complete control over day-to-day operations of these establishments helping it improve the customer experience.

Oyo has been operating in more than 170 Indian cities, including major metros, regional hubs, leisure destinations as well as pilgrimage towns.

In January, it started operations in Malaysia, the company’s first venture outside its home market.

The company currently claims to have 68,300 rooms across 5,855 partner hotels in India and targets to triple the inventory by 2016 end.

Earlier this month, Japan’s telecom and internet group SoftBank, in its earnings report, said that the daily booked room nights for hotel rooms aggregating platform Oyo Rooms has grown 15 times in the quarter ended 31 March as against the same period a year ago. Softbank backs Oyo and had participated in a $100 million round of funding in the company last year.