Dtravel Direct Litepaper

Updated Feb 29, 2024. This is an evolving document and will be updated regularly.


Since their inception and before the Internet became mainstream, vacation rental operators had a direct booking relationship with their guests. Guests would typically find STR options through advertisements or word of mouth and later book a stay over the phone or by paying in cash at the property.

As technology advanced, the industry saw the creation of websites where vacation rental bookings could be reserved and even processed with credit cards online. Online bookings for vacation rentals was a big step forward for the entire industry, giving operators newfound opportunities to grow their business and reach many more people than they would otherwise.

However, this created significant challenges for the vacation rental industry - the market for vacation rentals is highly fragmented, with millions of operators in every corner of the globe. As such, the booking experience can vary significantly from operator to operator. Because of this fragmentation, it created a market opportunity for online travel agencies ("OTAs") to flourish. OTAs solved these challenges in three ways - (1) aggregating vacation rental properties in one platform; (2) standardizing the booking experience; and (3) making the booking experience as seamless as possible.

While OTAs have helped with trust, discoverability and bookings, these advantages have also come at the cost of high fees, resulting in increased prices for guests and lower profitability for vacation rental operators. It also removed the human connection from the process, turning a personal experience into a commoditized offering.

The vacation rental industry is at an inflection point and is ready to return to its roots of direct booking relationships. Shifting back to direct booking relationships will require a decentralized approach free from OTAs and it starts with Dtravel.

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