An existing Oyo property in Japan: [Credit: Nikkei Asian Review]

OYO offers support for virus-affected Japanese operators

Japan: OYO has announced it will be offering financial support to Japanese hotels in order to join its platform.

It falls in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak threatening global hospitality and the cancellation of major events in the space and other segments around the world.

The programme, called the OYO Partner Support Programme, offers a sum of a proportion of new hotel partners’ annual income. The company says the offer is available immediately and will run indefinitely.

In spite of the group’s backing from Japanese group SoftBank, OYO has struggled to break into the Japanese market. It has suffered from technical problems on its platform as well as pushback from hotels themselves.

The new programme will seek to remedy this, opening the market up during a difficult time for operators. Chinese and South Korean tourists, who make up most of Japan’s visiting population, have been staying at home due to growing outbreaks of coronavirus in their home countries.

OYO CEO Ritesh Agarwal said: “Japan is an extremely important market for OYO and we intend to contribute to it over the long term. This is our response as a global hotel group to Japan’s lodging industry in the time of crisis.”

This news comes after a year of tumult for OYO, having announced escalating lossesand cut much of its staff in the core markets of India and China.

However, in addition to its programme in Japan, OYO’s South East Asian branch has promised to create a relief fund for operators whose businesses have been affected by the virus.

Hospitality is one of the many industries that will be hit hard by the virus, and UKHospitality recently labelled it “an existential threat” to the industry. In response, the government has lowered business rates in the most recent budget and is extending its advice to avoid to shops, cinemas, restaurants and other such social venues.

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