OYO has launched a new ‘virtual hotel’ named OYO Rooms for Carers where people can book overnight stays at the cost of £25 per room, per night. The room nights at the virtual hotel will then be passed over to NHS trusts for frontline healthcare workers to redeem at their nearest OYO hotel.
The campaign was kick-started by OYO this week, with contributions from individual team members, partners and OYO covering 1,000 rooms which will be made available to NHS staff and other key workers between now and the end of May.
The campaign is now also open to any members of the public who want to show some care to healthcare professionals.
“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to NHS staff working tirelessly on the front line and OYO Rooms for Carers is our way of saying thank you,” said Rishabh Gupta, head of OYO UK. “We are beginning with rooms for NHS workers, but if the support is there, we’d also love to open this up to more organisations providing vital services.”
OYO is not taking a commission on these bookings. The full revenue from every room night booked will be passed on to the hotels accommodating NHS workers to cover the minimum costs of keeping those hotels staffed and operational under the current circumstances. Hotels under the OYO brand are all independently-owned, small businesses that partner with OYO on certain capabilities including revenue management, technology and brand.
OYO has dozens of hotels within a 2km radius of hospitals around the UK. Free room nights will be offered to NHS trusts so that they can match the needs of their colleagues with hotels in the most suitable locations.
“There are many critical areas where NHS funds are needed right now, so some contribution of free room nights is one way that OYO, along with our partners, customers and other supporters, can help,” added Gupta.
Stays can be booked starting on any dates and for any duration, with every room night passed to an NHS trust for a healthcare worker to redeem at any OYO hotel across the country that is currently open for key workers. Room nights that cannot be utilised by NHS trusts will be cancelled and refunded. Those contributing room nights are encouraged to share their participation via social media using the hashtag #OYORoomsforCarers.
This is just one initiative being undertaken by OYO to support the current crisis. Last week, OYO UK announced that it is keeping over 2,000 rooms open to accommodate key workers who are unable to work from home and are in need of places to stay close to their place of employment. The company has introduced significantly reduced fixed rate pricing across its UK properties to remove unpredictability, allowing individuals and businesses to accurately budget for contingency accommodation.
OYO is also in talks with local councils to see if any of its hotels can be used for alternative purposes, such as interim accommodation for those in need. Last week, it was announced that Cardiff Council had taken over OYO Cardiff Central Hotel to increase provision for homeless people. Residents receive three meals a day and around-the-clock support from council staff.