An online booking system is a software solution that allows potential guests to self-book and pay through your website, and other channels, while giving you the best tools to run and scale your operation, all in one place.
But if your business has gotten far without an online booking system, you might think: do I even need one? What’s with all the hype anyway? You’re getting enough reservations already. Why bother taking on that extra expense?
Well, let me ask you this: is your email inbox a war zone? Does your phone ever stop ringing? Are you drowning in paper waivers and booking forms? Is your Excel booking system getting harder to understand with messy formulas and mistakes?
The Target Market
Sunset is intended to be used by all demographic groups but is expected a greater
focus on younger people as they are the ones who currently travel the most, in search of
adventures and new experiences, and those who are more open to the adoption of new
technologies, such as blockchain. Is also between the younger layers of our society that
the increasingly concerns about environment and climate changes appear to be stronger,
as the new generations feel under pressure to take action towards the creation of a
resilient future to our planet. This aligns with the Sunset’s mission regarding the
promotion of sustainable tourism and reward travelers that choose to have a positive
impact to the environment and local communities. Additionally, as travelers have been
changing their behavior, choosing destinations closer to home, Sunset will be working
with a special focus on domestic tourism and growing the concept of staycation.
The Problem(s) – An Outdated Business Model
Online travel agencies, also known as OTAs, are third-party platforms that allow
the connection between travel-related products/services suppliers and travelers, helping
the later to search, compare prices and book the transportation, accommodation,
activities and others. These intermediation platforms have many advantages for both
suppliers and travelers. For suppliers, OTAs work as a distribution channel making them
reach new customers and increase their revenue, and this can be particularly important
for small businesses which don’t have so much of a large marketing budget. For travelers,
the main advantages are the convenience, the choice and the price comparison
functionalities that OTAs provide.
Nevertheless, intermediation by platforms can bring significant problems,
particularly when those intermediaries have enough market power to engage in
behaviors which undermine the interests of customers and their suppliers.
The current OTA business model constitutes one of the biggest disadvantages for
both suppliers and consumers. In the standard business model, OTAs largest source of
revenue is based on the commission fees they charge from suppliers and the inventory
they provide. Whilst these used to be less than 10%, commission rates have increased
dramatically over the last decade. Commissions charged by OTAs are typically between
15% and 30% (and sometimes even higher) of the value. The platforms spend a large
proportion of the commissions they collected on metasearch, where they bid against the
supplier that pay them the commission. In addition, OTAs force restrictive agreements
with suppliers that prevent them of being competitive in the market. This middleman can
drive prices up for all consumers, whether they buy directly from a supplier or via an
Therefore, the main problems of OTAs are the following:
• Uncompetitive practices – unfairly high commissions and one-sided
agreements (most-favored nation and rate parity clauses);
• Misleading commercial practices – advertisement of false discounts,
search results which are distorted by commercial factors rather than the
best deal for the customer, hidden commission arrangements;
• Lack of transparency – unclear search rankings (concealed information
regarding promoted products), fake reviews (to damage the competitors
and to self-promotion).
The Solution – Sunset
Sunset is the solution to the previously mentioned problems.
The Sunset Mission is to develop a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)
in the travel market, in which, travelers and travel-related product and service providers
trade between each other in a platform powered by blockchain technology. By
developing a decentralized application (dApp) in the travel market we can achieve the
creation of a transparent business model, thus, enhance trust amongst all the relevant
stakeholders. In the process of development is our commitment to raise awareness about
sustainability issues and promote sustainable tourism practices amongst travelers.
The Sunset Vision is to be the first to create a fully functional DAO and become
the leading platform in the travel market, disrupting the conventional business model of
online travel agencies through innovation. By eliminating unnecessary middlemen, we
intend to redirect travelers’ resources, such as time and money, to what is really
important, the travel experience. Because we consider that only our planet should be
centralized, we want to inspire travelers in creating a positive impact in the local
communities and in the environment, and thus, to pursue a resilient future for
generations to come.
The Sunset Business Model
Our current most direct competitors in the market have blockchain technology
integrated in their conventional business model, a commission fee model that is
characterized by exploiting product/service providers, by misleading costumers with the
inaccurate perception of lower prices and by the lack of transparency regarding search
rankings and reviews. By using cryptocurrencies to power transactions and pay rewards,
they proclaim to be decentralized, but if they were truly decentralized, they wouldn’t
even use the term OTA to describe themselves. The key of being truly decentralized is to
eliminate the need of middlemen, and what is an OTA if not a middleman?
Sunset differentiate itself by building every aspect required to the management
of our business model in a transparent foundation inherent to blockchain technology and
thus benefiting all stakeholders. The Sunset dApp doesn’t intermediate any trades
between suppliers and consumers, thus, no commission fees are charged to neither the
parties, keeping our business distant from misleading commercial practices and yet,
profitable. A key feature of our business model is that we use our native cryptocurrency,
the SNS token, as the project main source of incoming profit, whether it comes from
trading (buy/sell) or holding tokens in the Sunset Wallet. We achieve this by promoting
strategic active and passive use, and thus circulation, of our token. An important part of this strategy lies in a subscription model of SNS to be revealed later upon the launch of
the Sunset dApp.