Are you unmarried and denied hotel rooms?
OYO rooms now welcome unmarried couples with local IDs to get accommodation in their rooms with much hassle.
Following the footsteps of StayUncle, OYO has released a relationship mode which let unmarried people get rooms and do whatever they wish to do. In India, getting a room for the unmarried couple is such a big taboo and above that moral policing by the hotel staff is more embarrassing.
Apart from being judged by the hotel staff, these are some the common questions which are not an uncommon phenomenon – “Are you two married?” “Can I see a proof of your marriage?” “Why do you need a room when you live in the same city?” “I don’t see a mangal sutra.
Now with the initiative of OYO rooms, things would be certainly better.
Oyo has 70,000 rooms in 200 cities among which it allows unmarried couples to get rooms which come under the category of relationship mode. These are easily available on its website and mobile app and let couples get rooms by showing their local identity proofs.
The company had a term and condition of ‘No hotel rooms for unmarried couple’ since it has started. But now the company has taken a sharp turn and all one needs is to change the status from the ‘My Account’ section of the application To turn on the relationship mode.
OYO suffered a loss of 351 crores during the months of April-December due to StayUncle. But recently company raised the fund of Rs 790 crores from various investors including Softbank, Greenoak Capital, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture. This might be a last chance for the company to maintain its name and prestige in the market.
Kavikrut, Chief Growth Officer, OYO says:
“Over the course of time, as they analyzed guest feedback, they found that couples were likely to face inconvenience at the last minute, on account of hotel policies not being communicated to them earlier. He further added, “We are respectful of our partners but we are equally committed to ensuring that every guest feels welcome at OYO. So, our teams worked on solving this problem using a mix of technology and rich content. There is no law in India that prohibits hotels from hosting unmarried guests or those who belong to the same city as the hotel’s location.”
With such initiatives, OYO has stepped in making things easier for unmarried couples but still in a country like India where holding hands are seen with raised eyebrows, things will only change after people change their mentality.
After OYO launched their Relationship mode, StayUncle mocked them on their blog by quoting: “The very fact that Oyo copied StayUncle, not just in the concept but part in our branding and campaign should tell you a lot”
Do you think OYO has taken the right initiative with this offer?
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