Hospitality tech platform Oyo is planning to expand its footprint by launching 400 new properties in key spiritual destinations across India by the end of the year, The Hindu BusinessLine reported.
Some of these destinations include Amritsar, Ayodhya, Char Dham, Devi, Haridwar, Katra-Vaishno and Varanasi, among others.
Considered to be a strategic move, it is in response to the growing domestic travel trend and an increased interest in spiritual tourism.
According to the company, the impending opening of the Ram Mandir on 22 January 2024, has caused a 350% spike in searches for Ayodhya on the Oyo platform over the previous year.
On New Year’s Eve, Oyo experienced a 70% surge in user activity on its app for Ayodhya, outperforming traditional leisure destinations such as Goa and Nainital, which saw increases of 50% and 60%, respectively.
Oyo founder and group CEO Ritesh Agarwal was quoted by the publication as saying: “Spiritual tourism in India is on the precipice of a monumental surge, poised to be one of the biggest growth drivers of our industry in the coming five years.
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“The opening of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya stands as a testament to this, and witnessing the excitement firsthand as I join in the grand ceremony will be truly humbling.”
He further stated that the renewed enthusiasm for spiritual travel is not limited to Ayodhya, but other destinations such as Puri, Shirdi, and Varanasi are also seeing a surge in interest.
Agarwal continued saying: “By offering comfortable and affordable accommodation options across these sacred sites, we aim to ensure every spiritual journey finds a welcoming haven, allowing pilgrims to fully immerse themselves in the transformative power of religion and spirituality.”
To accommodate the growing number of pilgrims in Ayodhya, Oyo has introduced 50 homestays, providing around 1,000 rooms in total.
These properties are conveniently located near major landmarks, offering pilgrims easy access to religious sites and tourist attractions.
In its efforts to ensure efficient operations, Oyo has formed partnerships with the Ayodhya Development Authority and the Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation.
These collaborations aim to facilitate a seamless experience for travellers visiting these spiritual centres. Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government stated it has received 25 proposals to set up hotel in Ayodhya including a pure vegetarian seven-star hotel, reported Deccan Herald.