Indian hotel giant OYO lines up Irish expansion
THE world's third-biggest hotel chain has set its sights on the Republic, after unveiling its first branded venue in the North.
South Belfast hotel the Parador Lodge has become the first on the island of Ireland to join the OYO brand, which was set up in India six years ago.
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The 19-bedroom Parador Lodge on Ormeau Road is now an OYO hotel, joining a group of 23,000 OYO-branded venues around the globe.
Jeremy Sanders, head of OYO UK, said it is now on the lookout for partnerships in the Republic.
He said: "We're delighted to be working with OYO Parador Lodge, which is clearly much-loved by guests.
"This marks our entry into Ireland and we're looking forward to expanding our presence further as we seek new partnerships in the region."
The group, which has 850,000 rooms across more than 800 cities on its books, was founded by entrepreneur Ritesh Agarwal, now 25.
It initially operated as a brand for independently owned hotels in India.
But it now has a mix of group-owned and owner-operated properties across a global portfolio of 23,000 hotels and 46,000 holiday rentals, spanning the US, Europe, the UK, India, Malaysia, the Middle East, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Belfast's Parador Lodge had been part of the Botanic Inns family of venues, before it was bought by entrepreneur Paul Blaney six years ago.
Mr Blaney said: "OYO is a fast-growing business and it's very exciting that the Parador Lodge is the first accommodation provider in the whole of Ireland to place their name above our door.
"Our guests will continue to enjoy the same warm and friendly welcome, along with our excellent service from our team, led by our manager Peter."
He added: "Becoming part of OYO is helping 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 UK cities and towns, including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Blackpool and Torquay, as well as Belfast.
The business entered the UK less than a year ago, but has more than tripled its portfolio in the past three months.
OYO said that its brand was aimed at helping small and mid-sized independent hotels to improve their performance through using its technology, revenue management capabilities and operational expertise.
Hotels in its portfolio have an average of 25 rooms.