Indian hotel giant OYO prepares for Irish expansion

THE third hotel chain in the world has set its sights on the Republic, after unveiling its first branded establishment in the North.

In west Belfast, the Parador Lodge has become the first on the island of Ireland to join the OYO brand, which was established in India six years ago.

The 19-room Parador Lodge on Ormeau Road is now an OYO hotel, joining a group of 23,000 OYO-branded properties worldwide.

Jeremy Sanders, head of OYO UK, said he was now looking for partnerships in the Republic.

He said: “We are delighted to be working with OYO Parador Lodge, which is clearly very popular with customers.

“This marks our entry into Ireland and we look forward to further expanding our presence as we seek new partnerships in the region.”

The group, which has 850,000 rooms in more than 800 cities, was founded by entrepreneur Ritesh Agarwal, now 25.

It first operated as a brand for independent hotels in India.

But it now has a mix of group-owned and owner-operated properties in a global portfolio of 23,000 hotels and 46,000 vacation rentals, spanning the US, Europe, UK, Australia India, Malaysia, the Middle East, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Parador Lodge in Belfast was part of the Botanic Inns family of places, before being taken over by entrepreneur Paul Blaney six years ago.

Mr Blaney said: “OYO is a growing business and it is very exciting that Parador Lodge is the first accommodation provider in all of Ireland to place their name above our door.

“Our guests will continue to enjoy the same warm and friendly welcome and excellent service from our team, led by our manager Peter.”

He added, “Being part of OYO helps us run the business more efficiently, while boosting our visibility to potential new visitors from around the world.”

OYO now has around 100 hotels in 25 cities and towns across the UK, including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Blackpool and Torquay, as well as Belfast.

The company entered the UK less than a year ago, but has more than tripled its portfolio in the past three months.

OYO said its brand aims to help small and medium-sized independent hotels improve their performance by using its technology, revenue management capabilities and operational expertise.

The hotels in its portfolio have an average of 25 rooms.

Christina A. Kroll