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Despite a drop in overall bookings throughout the hotel industrydue to the COVID-19 pandemic, budget-hotel chain OYO Hotelsreported a more than 20% increase in long-term stay bookings.

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With long-term stays classified as more than seven days, OYO'slong-term stay bookings climbed to 21% since stay-at-home ordersbegan in mid-March. The company has also seen a rise in demand forstays lasting a month or longer for displaced workers and medicalstaff.

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OYO is offering discounts for senior citizens, militarypersonnel, students, and travelers staying more than three or sevennights. OYO has also offered free accommodations to frontlineworkers such as doctors, nurses and medical first responders in itsmore than 300 US hotels.

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"While the coronavirus crisis has deeply impacted our industry,it has also created the need for long term stays for the frontlineworkers," said OYO Global COO and Operating Partner Abhinav Sinhain prepared remarks. Sinha also mentioned that the company hasimplemented enhanced protocols for cleaning and social distancingfor guests at OYO hotels. The increase in bookings for long-termshows boasts positive news for the hotel industry in the midst ofrevenue loss across the industry.

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In general, the coronavirus' impact has hit the hotel industryhard, with travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders resulting inbooking cancellations and revenue loss. Major hotel chains such asHyatt have been forced to temporarily close hotels, adopt laxrefund policies and furlough employees as a result. OYO also hashad to forgo CEO salary, establish executive compensation cuts,among other cost-cutting measures, according to a video statementfrom OYO Chief Executive Officer Ritesh Agarwal posted on theofficial OYO blog.

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More recently, the company has furloughed thousands of workers,according to a TechCrunch report. Headquartered in India,OYO, which stands for "On Your Own" rooms, is a relative newcomerin the hotel industry, with Ritesh Agarwal founding the company in2013. OYO had planned to invest $300 million into a US expansion inJune 2019.

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The company also operates hotels in Europe, India, the MiddleEast, Southeast Asia, Japan and the UK.

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Pearl Wu

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