Using crypto payments for hotel bookings was once a big hassle, but the travel industry is making things easier than ever. Travelers can now book all of Booking.com’s destinations worldwide with a variety of cryptocurrencies through Travala.com. This includes bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. All this is possible thanks to a strategic partnership between Booking.com and blockchain-powered travel platform Travala.
The travel startup sees the partnership with Booking.com as a sign that mainstream acceptance for crypto payments is growing. Customers of Travala.com can pay for hotels using the native AVA token, cryptocurrencies and traditional payments methods.
In addition users earn discounts and loyalty rewards, powered by the native utility token AVA. As a result of the partnership with Booking.com, Travala is now one of the biggest hotel booking platforms in the world in terms of the number of destinations.
This latest announcement is just one of the signs that the travel industry is getting ready for crypto. Other blockchain startups offer the option to pay for flight tickets using crypto, or use their technology to improve the travel experience at airports.
Booking.com has its eyes on crypto
In August Booking.com already made statements about the cryptocurrency industry. CEO Glenn Fogel believes that crypto payments are especially useful in the European and Asian markets. He said so, because they rely less on credit cards compared with the United States. Fogel also said that he believes that blockchain-based currencies are here to stay. According to him crypto will push away our traditional money system.
This isn’t Booking.com’s first step into crypto. The travel company was on-board with Facebook’s Libra stablecoin, but stepped away after government criticism. In addition they are in the Lolli reward program. Through Lolli online shoppers can get a small percentage of their money back in Bitcoin.
Travel industry moves into blockchain
Even though Booking.com and Hotels.com are the biggest names in online hotel bookings worldwide, there’s competition rising. Startups like Travala and Locktrip are using blockchain technology to connect consumers directly with the hotels. As a result they save costs by cutting out the middlemen.
Even big tech companies like IBM are involved in this space. IBM wants to use blockchain to create more trust between parties involved in the travel business. Their system should tell all parties who is getting which share. By using a distributed ledger, agencies and hotels can see all bookings and their commission status at all times. They are currently working on a minimum viable product (MVP) with three high profile hotel chains.
In addition Accenture and other companies are working on digital travel identification systems. Other blockchain solutions develop communication systems that would reduce lines and waiting times at airports.
Also published on Medium.