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Booking.com and Airbnb rival OYO acquires Direct Booker to grow in Croatia

OYO, a global travel tech brand and one of the most valuable Indian companies, has announced the acquisition of Direct Booker, Croatia’s leading vacation rental management company (VRMC). The acquisition has been completed by OYO’s European business subsidiary, OYO Vacation Homes (OVH).

This acquisition was announced soon after OYO, declared its intention of actively scouting for ‘tuck-in’ acquisitions, especially in the European market as a strategic growth plan. OVH has a strong footprint in select European countries, including the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy.

Already, OYO’s subsidiary OVH owns established vacation rental platforms such as Belvilla, DanCenter, and Traum Ferienwohnungen, among others.

Why did OYO acquire Direct Booker?

Started in 2010 by Nikola Grubelic and Nino Dubretic, Direct Booker is a market leader in the VRMC segment in Dubrovnik.

As a result of the acquisition, OVH will promote all vacation homes listed on Direct Booker via its Belvilla platform, thereby providing customers with a wider choice of short-term stays in the highly popular tourist destination of Dubrovnik and throughout the rest of Croatia.

Currently, the platform manages over 3,200 vacation homes in Croatia and has served over 2 million holidaymakers to date.

This acquisition will strengthen OVH’s presence in the strategically important Croatian tourism market, where it already has nearly 1,800 vacation homes on its Belvilla platform and more than 7,000 homes on the Traum Ferienwohnungen platform.

Explaining the benefits of having Direct Booker as a part of the OVH portfolio, Dr Mandar Vaidya, CEO of OYO Europe, said: “Without doubt, Croatia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean for European travellers. The country’s tourism sector has taken a big stride towards recovery in 2021 and the potential for the current year is even higher. We see a huge benefit in offering more holiday homes in the Dalmatian region. We are particularly excited about Dubrovnik, Croatia’s most visited tourist destination, where we will significantly improve our footprint with this acquisition. Direct Booker is a great addition to our portfolio of hotels and homes in Croatia and across Europe.”

Expressing his enthusiasm for being a part of a global travel tech company, 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 across Europe. Being a part of OYO’s vast network will also increase visibility for the homes listed on our platform, especially across Scandinavia, Benelux, and surrounding countries. The next couple of months will be truly exciting as we work towards building our business together.”

Booking.com and Airbnb rival!

OYO was founded by Ritesh Agarwal in 2013 in India to increase revenue and ease operations for hotel owners. It came up with easy-to-book, affordable, and trusted accommodation worldwide.

The Booking.com and Airbnb rival operates across 35 countries and is touted to be the world’s third largest travel app.

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