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Travel & Leisure

Oyo rolls out welcome mat at Japan's traditional inns

Indian hotel startup aims to shake up niche accommodation segment

Oyo Hotels Japan says it can achieve growth by helping ryokan owners shake off some of their stuffier traditions. (Image of Oyo Ryokan)

TOKYO — Indian startup Oyo Hotels and Homes is aiming its digital disruption at old-style Japanese hospitality -- signing up 1,000 ryokans, or traditional Japanese inns, to its online platform as the hotel operator recalibrates its growth plans.

The ryokan is one of Japan's most traditional experiences, where domestic and foreign tourists can enjoy tatami mats, futon beds and carefully presented meals. A string of tie-ups with these timeless and often expensive establishments might seem unusual for SoftBank Group-backed Oyo, which is known for its aggressive growth plans in budget hotels.

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