The Jakarta Post
OYO Indonesia reported a 70 percent increase in occupancy from May, signaling a recovery for the budget hotel operator after months of slumping demand and canceled bookings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to OYO Indonesia country stock head Carlo Ongko, the company needed 25 to 30 percent more growth to reach the same occupancy level before the global health crisis.
“Our lowest point in terms of occupancy and revenue was in May, but we are recovering to almost the same level before the pandemic,” he said in an online press conference on Tuesday.
He went on to say that OYO’s programs, such as Sanitized Stay, which helps hotels adhere to health and safety protocols during the pandemic, has helped increase demand.
OYO also opened coffee shop chain Kopi Cinta in some of its hotels to help increase partners’ revenue, Carlo said, adding that the company had processed around 85 percent of the 5,000 refund requests received in the last three months.
“We do realize that the pandemic has pushed people to cancel their stay with us. That is why we are improving our refund mechanism; […] by allowing customers to choose between getting their refund via two major e-wallets in Indonesia.”
This will shorten the verification process and minimize human error in data input, accelerating the refund process to 15 to 30 days, compared to 45 to 60 days via bank transfer.
However, the e-wallet option will only be available for new refund requests made after the mechanism is available next month.
OYO Indonesia came under public scrutiny after the Instagram account @oyobikinrugi_ (Oyo makes you lose money) went viral for reposting complaints made by alleged OYO customers about the company’s refund and payment issues.
Carlo said OYO acknowledged the complaints brought up by the Instagram account but emphasized that it had protocols in place to deal with such matters.
“For example, if the hotel you are staying at is closed or overbooked, we are going to relocate you to the nearest hotel with a similar rating,” he said.
Meanwhile, OYO Indonesia external relations and business integrity head Renaldy Martin urged the Instagram account to “stop influencing viewers to [have] negative and biased opinions” of the company.
“Our request is quite simple, and we have expressed the matter through legal notices that we sent to [the account].”
When asked whether OYO will press charges or consider mediation with the account’s administrator, Renaldy said the company was “still considering all possible, lawful options”.