On Thursday, budget hotel aggregator OYO announced its foray into Nepal, with the launch of its debut hotel in Kathmandu. The news comes just after a year, when the brand announced its first international launch in Malaysia in January 2016.
Commenting on the launch, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO – OYO, said:
“Building the category (of small and budget hotels) grounds-up, we have employed technology and operational acumen to deliver delight to our customers and unparalleled benefits to partners. Our network has witnessed robust growth to become the largest in India. After our successful overseas foray in Malaysia, we are now thrilled to offer OYO’s hassle-free and standardised stay experience to travellers visiting Nepal."
Launched in 2013, at present, OYO’s network has grown to 7,000 hotels in 200 cities. Its network in Malaysia is claimed to be 200 hotels.
Another reason for OYO to consider Nepal as a destination for expansion is the data from Department of Immigration, which states that of the 174,803 tourists who visited Nepal in 2016, highest number of them were reported from India.
According to a statement by the company, the travel and hospitality sector in India is witnessing a phenomenon of impulse planning.
Further, as travel-planning cycle reduces further, the expectations from on-ground suppliers and agents of delivering a non-negotiable and predetermined experience have become stronger. Affordable and trusted stay options remain one of the top concerns for most travellers.
To this, Ritesh said,
“Today, 70 percent of Indians admit to unplanned spending - from relationships to shopping, instant gratification is the new norm. At the same time, they are increasingly looking at discerning or standardised experiences; even if the purchase decision was driven by impulse.”
This news of expansion comes just two days after OYO was reported to be in the final stages of closing a $250-million round by existing investor Softbank, which would place the value of the company at $850 million. According to Times of India, this latest fund raise will give the Japanese group 42 percent ownership in the company.