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Travellers may prefer smaller hotels post-Covid, says OYO

The pandemic has brought about massive shifts in consumer behaviour and has accelerated the way small and medium hotel businesses operate

by AUFA MARDHIAH 

THE travel trend for Malaysia is set to mirror trends observed in other countries, where smaller hotels will be the choice for many travellers rather than high occupancy hotels.

According to OYO Malaysia and Singapore head Tan Ming Luk tour groups will also more likely be on a smaller scale, with small family groups becoming the norm rather than large tour groups.

“With cost pressures increasing, we expect consumers to trade down from higher categories to budget hotels. As OYO is in the affordable segment, we are likely to see a slow but sure recovery.

“OYO will continue to focus on providing guests with what they need — flexibility in booking, assurance of sanitisation or hotels in destinations within driving distance,” he told The Malaysian Reserve in an interview recently.

Read more: OYO — a rising name in budget weekend trips

The pandemic has brought about massive shifts in consumer behaviour and has accelerated the way small and medium hotel businesses operate, which leads to a slew of pioneering technologies and higher-tech adoption — which will further shape the future of hospitality.

On the other hand, OYO is also planning to bring updates to its app with the play-to-learn experience which is a way to drive retention and user engagement.

“We want our users to find ongoing value with the OYO app even when they are not actively travelling. By building out a strong offering, it will reduce app dormancy, uninstalls, increase sessions and session length with the result of keeping OYO in use year-round,” he said.

Read more: OYO Hotel and Homes offers accommodation to frontliners nationwide

Furthermore, the biggest differentiator for the tech company is the fulfilment-led model, where they work with hotels and use technology as well as operational capabilities to ensure smooth property management (revenue, pricing, inventory, etc); further using omnichannel distribution strategies across online and offline channels.

Tan explained that OYO has three strategic advantages that served them well the strength of their relationship with customers, partners and technology backbone to knit these relationships together; besides data and global knowledge has driven out of daily management of over a million rooms generate tremendous amounts of data to build our recommendation algorithms for patrons and guests; as well as focus on providing the guests what they need in the new world — be it more flexibility in booking, assurance of sanitation of rooms or vaccination of hotel staff or hotels in drivable destinations.

“We are also supporting our partners through a combination of establishing sanitisation protocols and training their staff, providing flexibility in terms of pricing and commercial arrangements to ease cashflows as well as leveraging technology to reduce dependence on manpower.

“Our hotel partners are glad of the support we have extended to them — being an OYO partner means that your primary channel for bookings (through the OYO app) has rebounded faster than any other online channel,” he said.

In the future, Tan asserted that OYO will continue to focus on providing guests with what they need in the new normal.

“We have strengthened our tech stack and built deeper relationships with our patrons and guests.

“While we are committed to strengthening our footprint here with a diverse portfolio of products that will help us advance our position as the clear market leader in the space we operate in, our focus for the foreseeable future is to provide a great technology-driven hospitality experience through quality affordable accommodation and win back the trust of guests and patrons,” he added.

Zukri

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