OYO Hotels & Rooms to overhaul operations amid COVID-19
The hospitality group will put automation and hygiene at the forefront
India-based OYO Hotels & Rooms is set to overhaul its operations in the GCC region with an initiative it calls Hospitality 2.0.
Developed in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the initiative will introduce greater automation and hygiene procedures across OYO’s Middle Eastern properties.
The key changes in Hospitality 2.0 will be the use of ‘airline-style kiosks’ for minimal contact during check-in and check-out. There will also be a ‘hyper-emphasis’ on sanitation as seen with hospitality groups across the board.
“At the end of the day, while each travel market and individual government does what it feels is best to keep its people safe and its economy running, the hospitality industry too must actively work on defining Hospitality 2.0 in the new normal,” Manu Midha, head of OYO’s Middle East operations, told sister-title Arabian Business.
“For OYO, we believe that technology combined with human commitment is the key in making all of this possible.”
OYO is in the process of working with its partners in the UAE and Saudi Arabia to prepare its hotels for the surge in demand for hygienic stays.
“We are seeing pent-up demand from travellers fuelling travel demand around the region in the next few months, as more countries lift domestic and international travel restrictions,” Midha said.
Other features of the overhaul include automated check-in machines to verify a guest’s identity; disposable paper room cards; sensor-based remote diagnosis of maintenance requirements in rooms; hygiene packs and masks handed out to guests; and greater social distancing enforcement.
“Sanitised stays will be the new norm whereby they are offered as a premium hotel feature,” Midha said.
“The measures for this could include intensive screening of guests during check-in, the duration of the stay and check-out, disinfecting luggage and supplies delivered to the hotel, training staff on Covid-19 awareness and management, mandatory use of PPE by all hotel staff, monitoring of social distancing practices, strong SOPs around F&B, laundry and usage of guest facilities and limiting visits by non-residents,” they added.