As we continue to expand as a preferred full-stack vacation homes provider, we concluded the acquisition of Europe based company ‘Direct Booker’ which has over 3200 homes and serviced 2 million customers so far. The transaction values Direct Booker at around $ 5.5 million.
It was started in 2010 by Nikola Grubelic and Nino Dubretic, CEO & Founders, of Direct Booker, a market-leading player in the Vacation Home management segment in Dubrovnik, a key tourist destination in Croatia.
We already own and operate brands such as Belvilla (Belvilla by OYO), DanCenter, Traum Ferienwohnungen, among others in Europe. Direct Booker’s inventory will be available on Belvilla.com (Belvilla by OYO) and over time on its other platforms. This acquisition will strengthen our presence in Europe broadly and Croatia specifically where we already have nearly 1800 vacation homes on our Belvilla platform and over 7000 homes on our Traum Ferienwohnungen platform.
Explaining the rationale behind the acquisition, Ankit Tandon, Global Chief Business Officer, OYO, who led this acquisition, said, “Homes continue to be an important strategic segment for OYO. With our leading Operating System, Dynamic Pricing capability and other data science enabled features, we have been able to add value to our over 140,000 Home Storefronts globally and I am excited to welcome Nino, Nikola and the team at Direct Booker under the OYO umbrella. I am sure OYO’s cutting edge technology, distribution systems and data sciences will add more value to their current 3,200 homes and enhance our collective growth in Europe. We continue to focus on going deep in Europe and delivering the best Vacation Home experiences to our customers.”
Expressing his enthusiasm on being a part of OYO, Nino Dubretic, CEO & Co-Founder of Direct Booker, commented, “We are happy to join forces with a global travel tech company like OYO. We strongly believe that by merging our technologies and expertise, this partnership will positively impact the Croatian tourism economy, further driving demand through OYO’s existing platforms spread across Europe. Being a part of OYO’s network will also increase visibility for the homes listed on our platform, especially across Scandinavian, Benelux and surrounding countries. The next couple of months will be truly exciting as we work towards building our business together.”
With the acquisition of Direct Booker, the Dubrovnik-headquartered company will now become a part of the our platform with a presence across Europe.
With a coastline of 6278 km, Croatia is known for its islands, islets, stacks and reefs making it one of the most popular upcoming tourist destinations in Europe. It is one of the most visited destinations in the Mediterranean, with most tourists coming in from Germany. This can be attributed to the high number of days of sunshine per year. In 2019, before the pandemic, Croatia welcomed close to 19 million tourists. While COVID-19 took a hit on tourism in the country, in 2021, the country witnessed a strong bounce back in tourism. As per data released by the Croatian National Tourist Board, nearly 14 million tourists visited Croatia in 2021, creating 84.1 million overnight stays. Overall, tourism contributes close to 12% to the GDP of the country.
Serendipitously, the city of Dubrovnik has a long-standing connection with India. St. Blaise is the patron saint of Dubrovnik city (one of the most recognized destinations in the Mediterranean). Interestingly, in 1563, the Church of Sao Braz-Saint Vlaho was constructed in North Goa, India. The church bell at this historical church was made in Dubrovnik and shipped over to Goa. The church continues to ring the bell to this day. Direct Booker’s Nino found this connection extremely meaningful and pushed for the signing to take place on 03rd February, which is celebrated as St. Blaise Day in Dubrovnik.