Kochi: Women travellers looking for safe stay in Kerala would soon be able to book hostel rooms using an Oyo-like app being developed by the Kerala State Womens’ Development Corporation (KSWDC).
The corporation is also working towards developing a of standards for women hostels in the state to provide better user experience.
KSWDC has already identified 160 hostels in the state —both public and private— which they intent to partner with, as part of the Stay Safe project. “The idea is to bring all the hostels under one app to provide safe night-stay to women who travel,” said Bindu V C, managing director, KSWDC.
The aggregator platform would give more visibility to the hostels and also enable easy booking as women won’t have to physically scout around for vacant hostel rooms. KSWDC has invited expression of interest from startups registered under Kerala Startup Mission for developing the app which will have the ability to identify nearby hostels from the current user location. The app would list out available hostel rooms and facilities based on date and location. Users would also have the ability to rate previous bookings they have made.
KSWDC officals said though they have shortlisted 160 hostels only 60 of them have provided them the details. “An initial meeting was attended by representatives of 30 hostels. Once we identify all the hostels we will set standards for the rooms on offer and then enter into an agreement with them,” said a KSWDC official.
The corporation wants all partner hostels to have facilities comparable to hotel rooms including attached bathrooms, towels, napkins and toiletry articles like soap. KSWDC has not looked into restrictions imposed by hostels on inmates. “The whole point is to make the experience safe for women who travel at night. So such restrictions won’t work,” the official said.
For government facilities there would be a centralised tariff system while for private hostel rooms the rate shall be defined with a cap as set by KSWDC. The plan is to pilot the project using a dedicated helpline number before shifting aggregation and boooking to the app, sources said.