Nowadays, cryptocurrencies are opening their path in all industries, one of the most important one is tourism industry.
Tourism industry is a pioneer in using cryptcurrencies to prosper major tourism activities. Travala, a travel platform that lets its users pay for hotel stays with digital currencies. Over 20 digital currencies supported by Travala’s platform, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Tron (TRX), stablecoin Tether (USDT), privacy-focused token Monero (XMR), NEO(XEM) and others.
In November 2019, Travala entered a partnership with Booking.com, purportedly allowing users to book 90,000 different destinations using cryptocurrencies.
Crypto’s spread into the travel industry is not confined to hotels alone. Last December, news broke that Thailand was going to apply blockchain to its Electronic Visa On Arrival (eVOA). The objective of the initiative is to speed up and protect the digital visa application process and will soon be available for five million visitors from 20 countries.
Alternative Airlines, a travel company based in the United Kingdom, partnered with cryptocurrency service Utrust to facilitate payments with crypto. As of last November, the two companies planned to provide customers with the ability to book flights while paying with crypto such as BTC, ETH, Dash, DigiByte (DGB) and Utrust’s native token UTK.
Challenges and benefits of using digital currencies in tourism industry
Adding further on the challenges Travala has faced after it began accepting crypto as a payment option, the company commented:
“Due to the nature of the hotel industry prices can change rapidly so we have a small time window to receive payments and process the bookings. We solved this by processing bookings on confirming status instead of waiting for full confirmations. This is especially important when accepting Bitcoin payments.”
Travala also named refundable bookings with crypto payments as one of the challenges, due to volatility. As such, the company decided to make refunds for refundable bookings made with crypto in stablecoins.
At the same time, Travala has ostensibly seen much higher-than-industry-average bookings made with digital currencies. “It is refreshing to know that each time we take a booking with cryptocurrency payments we avoid all the normal issues with traditional payment methods such as fraudulent payments and bad actor disputes,” Travala said.