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HOSPITALITY GIANT HAILS UAE’S NEW TOURIST VISA AS ‘GAME CHANGER’

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UAE arm of OYO Hotels & Homes says tourist enquiries have spiked since visa announcement earlier this week

The UAE arm of Indian hospitality giant OYO Hotels & Homes has hailed the recently announced five-year multiple entry visa as a “game changer” for the country’s tourism industry.

OYO UAE said it started receiving tourist enquiries from several countries the moment it was announced earlier this week.

Holders of the new five-year multiple-entry tourist visa will be allowed to stay in the UAE for six months at a time.

“With this new five-year multiple entry Visa rule, we expect a steep increase in tourist arrivals from across the globe,” said Pranav Mehta, country head, OYO Hotels & Homes, UAE.

“We have observed a significant increase in the number of both leisure and business visitors since the last quarter of 2019 due to the busy MICE sector in UAE. We are gearing up for the busy months ahead of us leading up to the mega Expo 2020.

“As the country pavilions are being constructed at the Expo site, we expect a large number of business travellers and executives visiting our properties during this phase. This will be followed by a mix of leisure and business travellers as we progress towards the last quarter of 2020,” he added.

OYO said it witnessed double digit increase in tourist traffic in December compared to the same period last year.

OYO Hotels & Homes is South Asia’s largest and the world’s third largest and fastest-growing chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes and living spaces and China’s largest single hotel brand.

“We have seen a rise in numbers with regard to business travellers, particularly from India and China due to the growing trade relationship between UAE and these two Asian nations. At the moment, we are also experiencing a growth in numbers from other GCC countries, Africa, Europe, UK and the United States,” said Mehta.

OYO Hotels & Homes UAE said it aims to grow its market share and touch 150 hotels by end of 2020 while also growing its footprint within the two, three and four-star hotels in the UAE.

The company added that it has aggressively expanded its portfolio to a collection of 4,461 keys in 310 hotels and homes in just a year as the brand aims to be the largest hotel chain in the world by 2023.

Source: Arabian Business