Is it OK to stay with your girl/boy friend in a hotel room in India? No law prohibits the unmarried couple to stay together in a hotel room in India. But most of the hotels in India or the so-called ‘moral policing’ doesn’t allow an unmarried couple to stay together. Yeah, a little absurd even in this new age technological era. Many hotels simply deny an unmarried couple to stay in their property just in order to save their reputation or police harassment. Most of the couples are worried about the social stigma that can be caused by the moral policing or police harassment. There is no legal basis for hotels to deny check-in to couples, but some hotels have a policy of not accepting unmarried guests or those with residence in the same city as the hotel.
So in order to break this taboo, OYO has introduced relationship mode so that unmarried couples can discover hotels in a particular city without any hassle.
You can now easily find couple-friendly OYO hotels in a particular city by applying the filter on the app or website, and also by turning on the “relationship mode” feature in your OYO account. This ensures that you do not face pesky interrogation or needless hassle when you arrive at your hotel.
Couple-friendly OYOs are available across 100 cities in India including all metros and leisure destinations.
“At OYO, we do not discriminate between our hotel partners and we do not wish to discriminate between our guests. At the end of the day, a hotel owner has the right to run his business the way he wants (while adhering to applicable laws) but we believe there has to be a better way to communicate the policy to the guest before booking – to avoid needless hassle and embarrassment at the time of checking in.”, OYO described the new feature in their blog.
Last week Oyo raised Rs. 413 crore from Softbank in order to curb the competition. Oyo claims to have 70,000 rooms on its platform across 6,500 hotels in 200 cities. From 1 property in 2013 to 6500+ properties across 200 cities and in Malaysia, Oyo has expanded rapidly in the last three years.
The 23-year-old founder Ritesh Agarwal was the first resident Asian to be selected for the 20 under 20 Thiel Fellowship.
Oyo is not the only platform that caters to this niche market. StayUncle, a Delhi based startup provides platform for unmarried couples to find a hotel room for a duration as short as 8-10 hours.
OYO offers hotels to its consumers at affordable prices starting at INR 999. As a brand, OYO promises comfortable delightful stays that includes an AC room, complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi with 24*7 customer service support. Hotel owners that partner with OYO Rooms see a significant increase in occupancy levels and become part of a brand that is recognized and loved by travellers nationwide.
As the market leader amongst India’s budget hotel brands, OYO has created a new paradigm in the hospitality sector through an asset-light managed marketplace model. This innovation coupled with sound execution has been recognized by several national and international accolades including Business World Young Entrepreneur Award, TIE Lumis Business Excellence Awards, India International Travel Mart Award and Lufthansa ET Now Runway to Success Award.
What do you think of this innovative move by OYO especially in a country like India, where two unmarried people staying together is seen as a social stigma. Provide your comments below.