Alternatives to Oyo Surface for Independent Budget Hotels in Asia

New players are surfacing in Asia, and they’re attempting to offer better solutions to small independent hotels than Oyo, Expedia, and the software-as-a-service (SaaS) types.

Former Expedia executives set up Zuzu Hospitality Solutions, one such startup targeting two- and three-star hotels. Find out its model in this week’s featured article below. And as our Singapore-based Skift Asia contributor Yixin Ng writes, Zuzu offered compelling views why solutions to help Asia’s budget hotels rise from obscurity — and be visible, bookable, enjoyable, and profitable — are still imperfect.

This means there are lots of opportunities to reinvent the market — and that’s a good thing. As Skift has recently reported, it’s becoming doubtful whether a model such as Oyo can be sustainable with the kind of scale it’s working with.

A plug-and-play with online travel agencies also isn’t ideal, as the small hotels get lost in the shuffle of search results, argued Zuzu. Moreover, it said that too many SaaS companies come out of the United States, with most skewed toward big hotels.

Asia has thousands of small independent hotels, and Zuzu believes it has a playing field of at least 57,000 hotels in Southeast Asia alone.

The region’s supply of budget hotels is just waiting to be remodeled. They are vital to Asia’s tourism growth. Millions of new travelers are emerging in the Asia-Pacific as disposable income rises. The region ne affordable, efficient, and reliable low-cost hotels to accommodate them.

— Raini Hamdi, Skift Asia Editor, [email protected], @RainiHamdi

Skift Stories and More Expert Insights

Why Oyo and Rivals May Not Be the Answer for Unchained Hotels in Asia: More than ever before, small independent hotels in Asia are in need of distribution and revenue management solutions. But Oyo and other budget hotel chains aren’t necessarily the ones that will be throwing them that lifeline.

Soneva Jani, Maldives. Photo: Soneva

New Chapter Opens for Asia’s Soneva Hotels With a More Than $200 Million Investment: Can an independent hotel group with just three properties now survive as the industry keeps consolidating? If the brand is Soneva, yes, and new backing is taking it forward.

Minor International Will Get New Group CEO as Founder Bill Heinecke Plans Succession: Dillip Rajakarier’s biggest achievement is lasting a dozen years with the hugely driven Bill Heinecke, who was once known for short-lived CEOs. Rajakarier earned his stripes well, but if you think Heinecke is retiring — forget it.

AirAsia Wants to Beat U.S. Fast Food Chains by Opening First Airline Food Restaurant: The world’s first attempt to bring airline cuisine to the ground — not the other way round — is here, and in a few years AirAsia figures there will be a chain of 1,000 franchised restaurants. It’s becoming a serious matter.

How Global Hotel Chains Differ in Approach to Asia-Pacific’s Huge Opportunity: Who has the best setup in Asia? No one-size-fits-all approaches there. But as competition increases amid a softer market, expect strategies and structures to evolve.

Marriott’s Mission: Make W Hotels Cool Again: W Hotels were once the hottest hangouts in town but two decades after its creation, it has been overshadowed by its younger competitors. Marriott inherited the W Hotel brand when it bought Starwood in 2016. Now it’s up to Marriott to make the W brand shine again.

The Rise of Smart Airports: A Skift Deep Dive: After years of being stuck in the past, new “smart” airports are embracing technology and data to improve the experience for both passengers and vendors. But progress is still slow, widening the gap between cutting-edge and archaic facilities. What’s needed? More vision, less bureaucracy.

Asia Editor Raini Hamdi [[email protected]] curates the Skift Asia Weekly newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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