- OYO to add 25 hotels and homestays each in Ayodhya in 2023
- OYO is collaborating with Ayodhya Development Authority and Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation for its expansion plans in Ayodhya
- OYO is betting big on religious corridors like Ayodhya to boost its expansion plans in India in 2023
- Govt expects Ayodhya tourism to increase ten times by 2024 once the construction and development work is completed
- Over 2.20 Cr tourists visited Ayodhya in 2022
OYO has announced that it will add 50 properties including 25 hotels and homestays each in Ayodhya in 2023. OYO Rooms is being actively supported by Ayodhya Development Authority and Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation to start these properties in a time bound manner.
A great opportunity for first generation hotel owners
OYO hotel data from January to September 2022 reveals that revenue of hotels onboarded on OYO platform doubled within three months compared to independent budget hotels of a similar size. OYO 360, a self-onboarding tool, provides a simple two-click platform to enroll hotel owners on its platform and provides three types of benefits – growth benefits, partnership benefits, and OYO network benefits.
Ayodhya emerging as a religious tourism hotspot
Tourist arrivals in Ayodhya have been on the rise consistently over the last few years. In 2017 approximately 1.5 crore tourists visited Ayodhya, 2 crores in 2019 and in 2022 more than 2.20 crore tourists visited the spiritual city. The government expects that Ayodhya tourism will increase ten times by 2024 once the construction and development work of Ram temple is completed.
A massive infrastructure push
The government is spending approximately Rs 30,000 crore for the transformation of Ayodhya and make it a spiritual centre with a global appeal like the Vatican City and Mecca.
The plan includes the construction of an international airport, a riverfront and the development of a theme park based on the Ramayana, smart transportation, waste management, a bird sanctuary and public safety systems under smart city mission. The Uttar Pradesh government is also working towards the preservation and restoration of heritage sites in Ayodhya. This includes the restoration of the Ram Katha Park, which is a major pilgrimage site, and the development of a Ramayana Museum.
Religious tourism as a priority sector
OYO is betting big on religious corridors like Ayodhya to boost its expansion plans in India in 2023. OYO’s Cultural Travel 2022 Round-up Report highlighted that spiritual travel is a key contributor to the domestic
travel recovery in India. With rising interest in community experiences across India, a lot of travellers are now looking to exploring rich cultural destinations, lesser-known locations, royal palaces and spiritual or wellness destinations. A zone-wise breakdown of spiritual tourism in India indicates North India as the most favoured spiritual destination followed by South, West and East regions.
Sharing more details on the expansion plans in Ayodhya, Anuj Tejpal, Chief Merchant Officer, OYO said “We have made a robust expansion plan for Ayodhya after multiple rounds of meetings with the government to understand their key requirements and concerns. We are enthused by the swift action and encouragement provided by the Ayodhya Development Authority & UP Tourism Department. They are highly keen that we encourage the opening of well-run homestays to provide an additional source of income for the local residents. We have started onboarding homestays already. Ayodhya is the top spiritual city in our plans of expanding OYO footprints across major religious corridors in India”. A recent instance of this interest in spiritual travel is the Good Friday long weekend, where OYO’s booking trends revealed that Varanasi emerged as the top choice among pilgrimage destinations, followed by Puri, Shirdi, Amritsar, and Haridwar.
Alongside these cities, Tirupati, Mathura, Vrindavan, Guruvayur, and Madurai also saw a significant surge in booking demand. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data says that the temple economy in India is booming. It is worth Rs 3.02 lakh crore and 2.32 percent of GDP. The NSSO figures suggest that 55 percent of Hindus undertake religious pilgrimages patronizing mid and small sized hotels. The report also says that more than 36 per cent Muslims, 35 per cent Christians, and 72 per cent Sikhs are likely to undertake religious tourism from 2022 to 2027. The report concludes that Indians do more pilgrimage than business trips and spend more on pilgrimage than traveling for education purposes.
A comfortable stay just a few clicks away
Customers can do hotel bookings through a simple three click booking process on OYO Hotels app. OYO Rooms has around 50% same city bookings through its ‘hotels near me’ feature. Outstation bookings score high for Goa hotels among beach destinations, Jaipur hotels and Udaipur hotels for heritage tourism. Same city bookings are high for hotels in Delhi and hotels in Chandigarh in North India, hotels in Mumbai in West and hotels in Bangalore followed by hotels in Hyderabad in South India.