Skift Take

Oyo’s planned expansion into the U.S. comes shortly after the company revived its potential initial public offering plans. Surely, there's a lot brewing but not without a fair share of challenges.

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Potentially IPO-bound budget hotel operator and aggregator Oyo’s U.S. business has recorded a 48 percent revenue growth from bookings on its own platforms — such as the app, website, mobile web and call centers — in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. While Oyo’s app generated 99 percent growth, revenue from bookings via the company’s call centers reported a 59 percent surge for the quarter. Earlier this month, Oyo had announced its plans to add more than 100 hotels in the U.S. this year across the states of Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, and Texas, its fastest-growing state. This is nearly double the number of hotels the company added to its portfolio in 2022. “While bookings through online travel agents such and Expedia Group play an important role in increasing revenues for our hotel partners, direct demand through Oyo’s own platforms leads to better margins for our hoteliers,” said Gautam Swaroop, chief executive of Oyo International. Swaroop added that the company experienced a 3x growth in app conversions and 2x growth in conversions from the call center using price optimizations and by creating operational efficiencies, performance management and better incentive structures in the organization. An earlier Skift report had mentioned that Oyo is likely to launch the initial public offering around the Indian festival of Diwali in November, once it gets the approval from India’s capital markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Tata-owned Air India and travel technology company Sabre inked a multi-year deal that enables travel sellers globally to access the airline’s fares and seats through Sabre’s global travel marketplace. Additionally, Air India is utilizing Sabre’s consultancy expertise to help determine optimal routes for its existing and new fleet, it said in a statement. Sabre’s consultancy work with the carrier includes an in-depth market evaluation, the development of new hub and schedule structural designs, and detailed planning of route network and capacity over a 10-year horizon, as well as the optimization of fleet assignments across its system.  

Co-living accommodation provider ZoloStays has announced the launch of its first luxury hotel — Hotel Z Triloha in Bengaluru in the south Indian state of Karnataka. Zolo offers shared and private rooms for rent at more than 500 properties across 10 Indian cities. Many hotel companies and corporate extended-stay brands have considered investing in the general business concept. “As a business, we understand the importance of diversifying our customer base, exploring new revenue streams, and expanding into new markets to drive long-term success,” said Nikhil Sikri, co-founder and chief executive of ZoloStays. 

Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo will begin direct flight services from the east Indian city of Bhubaneswar to Singapore and Bangkok on June 5. Earlier this month, the airline had also announced that it will start a direct service to Dubai from May 15. A 186-seater flight will be operated from Bhubaneswar airport thrice a week and the expenditure towards flight operation will be borne by the state government. In lieu, the revenue generated through ticketing will be retained by the state government, Indian media reported. The government has earmarked $14.7 million to help operate these flights and hopes to break even within a year. Direct connectivity to aviation hubs like Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok would help channelize the huge potential for economic growth through enhanced accessibility, IndiGo said in a statement.

Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka can now pay for transactions using the Indian Rupee, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Nandalal Weerasinghe said. He also expressed support for the linking digital payment interfaces between the two countries during his keynote at a webinar organized by India’s Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. India has traditionally been Sri Lanka’s largest inbound source market, topping the island nation’s tourist inflow with 13,839 arriving in the first 23 days of April. Sri Lanka has received around $530 million in tourism earnings in the first quarter of calendar year 2023, said Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Harin Fernando, who is currently in India for a three-day city roadshow.

The newly constructed Manohar International Airport at Mopa in India’s coastal state Goa has added eight destinations to its tally for the summer season, an official from GMR Goa International Airport Limited said. This includes Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Manchi, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam and Lucknow. With this, the airport will now connect Goa to a total of 21 domestic destinations across the country. Out of the eight new destinations, Indian budget carrier Indigo will connect seven, while Tata-owned Vistara will connect Lucknow. In the last three months, Manohar International Airport has witnessed approximately 7 lakh passenger footfalls and 5,000 air traffic movements.

German airline Lufthansa Group announced the launch of flights from Munich to Bengaluru and from Frankfurt to Hyderabad this year. Launching on November 3, the flights on the Munich-Bengaluru route will be operational three times a week. The Frankfurt-Hyderabad route are expected to commence from winter. “The expansion underlines Lufthansa’s long-term vision to strengthen its footprint in the Indian market by catering to the growing population of young working professionals,” the airline said in a release. Lufthansa Group operates more than 50 weekly services to India.


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Tags: air india, airports, frankfurt, germany, india, indigo, Lufthansa Group, munich, oyo, sabre, skift india report, sri lanka, student travel, study abroad, visas

Photo credit: Oyo plans to add more than 100 hotels in the U.S. this year. Source: Danielle Hyams/Skift

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