Dtravel v2 — Product Direction
March 2nd, 2022

Part 2: Building Better Travel Experiences

Traveling should be an efficient, inclusive and rewarding experience. To make this a reality, Dtravel is building a decentralized web3 ecosystem that enables travelers to confidently book stays directly with property hosts.

In Part 1: Empowering Hospitality Businesses, we discussed the Dtravel v2 approach — which combines the freedom of direct booking sites with the simplicity of online travel agencies — and how it benefits hosts.

In the second part of this series, we turn our focus to detailing how this approach will benefit travelers (or “guests”) and TRVL token holders who book with hosts using Dtravel and/or contribute to the growth of the ecosystem.

Key Problems for Guests

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, took to Twitter earlier this year to find out what the public wanted to see on the platform. Cryptocurrency payments topped the list, with clear pricing displays and a guest loyalty program coming in behind — all of which are also being worked on by Dtravel.

These responses, as well as broader research, informed our list of key problems that travelers currently experience.

Guest Believer Persona
Guest Believer Persona

Problem #1

Guests pay more than they should.

Problem #2

Guests aren't rewarded for their loyalty with meaningful or exclusive rewards programs.

Problem #3

Guests have limited payment options for travel.

In developing the guest experience for Dtravel v2, these problems have been singled out as core focuses.

Travelers Prefer to Book Direct After the Pandemic

A 2021 GlobalData poll discovered that the pandemic has significantly altered consumer booking preferences, with 39% of travelers opting to book directly and just 17% preferring to book through online travel agencies and price comparison sites.

When compared to GlobalData’s 2019 poll, in which 44% of respondents indicated they preferred booking through an online travel agency, the sentiment has clearly shifted as the pandemic left travelers frustrated by the lack of accountability from online travel agencies, particularly with respect to refunds.

At a time when travelers needed their bookings changed or refunded throughout the pandemic, travelers were forced to contact the online travel agency or platform. Where stays had been booked, hosts weren’t able to offer much assistance, either due to policy or out of concern that their rating could be negatively impacted.

Beyond better refund processes, why else are so many travelers now turning their attention to direct booking sites?

Benefits of Direct Bookings for Guests

Without an online travel agency assuming the role of the middleman, a clear channel is established between the guest and the property host. This allows guests and hosts to communicate freely on their own terms without the ever-present burden of prohibitory third-party policies that exist for the sake of the middleman, not the best interests of the guest and host. The entire travel experience can then be improved, as direct conversations and mutual understanding are among the best incentives for positive behavior.

Because drawing travelers away from globally recognised online travel agencies requires some incentivization, most hosts who operate direct booking sites implement flexible cancellation and straightforward refund policies. Hosts might also offer special rates or extras only advertised on their website since direct bookings enable the host to bypass the fees charged by third parties, which typically range from 15-20%.

Travelers may also prefer booking directly for other reasons. The “support local and small businesses” sentiment has been rippling across the globe throughout the pandemic in nearly every industry as communities banded together to support independent businesses. By booking directly, guests can support hosts instead of middlemen like online travel agencies and other platforms, ensuring hosts retain a greater percentage of their profits.

How Dtravel v2 Fits

Dtravel v2 will combine the best of both worlds using elements of direct booking sites and online travel agencies to create a web3 travel ecosystem. The ecosystem will first enable travelers to book directly with hosts and soon after create an aggregation engine to efficiently search for hosts at their desired destination, fusing the convenience of online travel agencies with the many benefits of direct bookings.

With Dtravel v2, guests will enjoy:

  • Lower fees than leading online travel agencies and booking platforms
  • Cryptocurrency payment options
  • TRVL token rewards
  • A direct line of communication to the host
  • Transparent, non-custodial bookings facilitated completely by smart contracts

Our long-term vision is to leverage web3 technologies to enable community members, including hosts and guests, to work together to build and realize the full potential of a community-owned travel experience. With this product direction, Dtravel simply provides tools for hosts and guests to connect while taking a back seat in the booking process.

Dtravel’s role is not that of a booking platform, but rather that of a starting point for the community to connect with each other and make peer-to-peer travel arrangements. Dtravel v2 sets the foundation of a web3 travel ecosystem that is not an intermediary, but an aid.

As the number of community members grows, this community-owned and led travel ecosystem will mold into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) over time, with community members being able to submit and vote on proposals relating to the ecosystem.

Be Part of Something Bigger

The advent of web3 means community members can be involved as guests, hosts, TRVL token holders or a combination of these. By being part of the Dtravel ecosystem, members who are passionate about building a better travel experience will have the opportunity to do so.

As we set our sights on launching Dtravel v2 at the end of Q2, we’ll be requesting further feedback from travelers within the community to influence Dtravel’s decisions on the guest experience (similar to the Host Beta Program mentioned in our previous article).

If you’re interested in sharing your thoughts, views and ideas with us on how we can build a better travel experience, complete the Guest Beta Program survey and we’ll be in touch!

Dtravel exists to create a world where every person is empowered to be an active owner in the future and success of the sharing economy. We’re working hard on bringing this dream to life and are so thankful to have you be a part of it.

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