When was the last time that you went for a vacation with a friend, who happened to belong to the opposite sex, and were given the look-over by the hotel receptionist and denied a room? You know, the I-know-what-you-are-going-to-do look. As sex still remains a taboo in our society, it becomes hard for an unmarried couple to rent an affordable room for some private time.
However, with start-ups like Stayuncle, the process has become tad easier for youngsters possessing valid identity cards. And now, OYO rooms has followed its footsteps by launching its new feature,"Relationship mode" that aims at facilitating couples find what they term "couple-friendly" hotels without any hassle.
The start up, which offers 70,000 rooms in 200 cities, claims that it came up with the idea after doing a thorough analysis of its customer feedback. As many people are not well-informed about hotel policies, unmarried couples find themselves in embarrassing situations after being denied rooms at the last moment.
Kavikrut, Chief Growth Officer, OYO told ScoopWhoop News,
"To ensure that our guests do not face inconvenience, we have simply made it more transparent and easy for couple-guests to discover the hotels that offer them a seamless check-in upon furnishing of the requisite ID proofs. Couples make up a small segment of our overall bookings but our intent is not to do something gimmicky – it is to ensure we are able to utilise our tech strength and strong supplier network, to offer a seamless and personalised booking experience."
Moral policing is one of the major issues faced by couples in the country, with unmarried couples often being harassed, threatened and even beaten up by self-proclaimed custodians of "Indian culture". There have even been cases where the police have breached privacy by raiding hotels and harassing couples for apparent "indecent behaviour." The problem arises as most people are unsure of legality of the process. On being quizzed about the same, Kavikrut added,
"There is no law in India that prohibits hotels from hosting unmarried guests, or those who belong to the same city as the hotel's location. However, some hotels have restricted check-in criteria. We have simply made it more transparent and easy for couple-guests to discover the hotels that offer them a seamless check-in upon furnishing of the requisite ID proofs."
"Couple-friendly" OYOs will be available across 100 cities in India, including top metros and big cities. The "Relationship mode" feature is available on its website and mobile app.
In a country where lovers are harassed by political parties for simply "holding hands" or celebrating "Valentines Day" in public, the move is certainly a welcome one.