OYO WE: Oyo Room’s Dedicated, Exclusive Budget Brand For Women Travelers
Oyo Rooms has set a new benchmark for hospitality industry in India, with the launch of their women only exclusive brand: Oyo WE. Equipped with features such as automated door locks, hair dryer, iron, full length mirrors, library with women magazines, doctor, beauty-on-call service, cabs and most importantly, an all women staff, Oyo WE can be a game changer for online hotel booking industry in the country.
Oyo has said that considering 40% of all their customers are women, this was a much needed offering as per the feedback and suggestions received by them.
As per reports, Oyo Rooms will convert 15 new properties across 10 Indian cities into Oyo WE brand, by the end of 2015. The owners are required to shell out Rs 1.5-2 lakh on their existing properties to convert them and them complaint with Oyo WE brand.
Kavikrut, head of expansions at OYO Rooms, said while launching this new initiative, “WE are also looking at converting existing properties into OYO WE brand, apart from signing new properties. These properties will undergo transformation in terms of design and features.”
We found one property of Oyo WE brand listed at Gurgaon location, which have few images to showcase the changes incorporated.
Overall, Indian travel industry is witnessing a surge in women travelers, as the growth is pegged at 50% annually. Considering the dismal state of women security in the country, and increasing instances of harassment and violence, Oyo WE brand appears to be a much needed offering which would be appreciated by women travelers.
Women Only Hotels in India
In the early 90s, ITC Hotels introduced the concept of women only rooms with the introduction of their Eva brand at ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delh. In the next 5 years, the idea evolved from being single rooms into an entire floor at this hotel; and later it was introduced all over the country at ITC properties. ITC Maratha at Mumbai has this service, besides ITC Grand Bharat at Manesar near Gurgaon; ITC Grand Chola, Chennai; ITC Windsor, Bangalore; ITC Sonar, Kolkata and ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad.
Similarly, other big hotel chains such as Hyatt Residency, Le Meridien , Leela Palace and others also have dedicated packages for women-only travelers, although they don’t have a separate brand like Eva or Oyo WE as of now.
As per a research conducted by Pallavi Seth, Clare Hindley, Beverley Wilson-Wünsch from International University of Applied Sciences, Bad Honnef-Bonn, Germany, it was found that majority of women travelers in India are not even aware of such women-centric facilities at leading hotel chains. The report also mentions that such women-only brands can help to instill confidence among women travelers, and inspire them to travel more.
The latest salvo from Oyo Rooms has certainly opened up a new dimension within the Indian traveling industry; and hopefully it will inspire others to act positively in this direction.