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The Covid-19 Pandemic Caused Crypto Travel Agencies to Lose 90% of Bookings

crypto travel

July 21, 2020 | 

JOHN K MWANIKI |  0 Comments| 

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The tourism and travel industry as a whole is facing unprecedented challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time in history, almost 90% of the world population gets subjected to travel restrictions.

What this means is that roughly 120 million travel-related jobs are at risk. If the global quarantine continues, the World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that the worldwide travel industry will lose almost $2.1 trillion in revenue.

With many families putting on hold their holiday plans and thousands of cancelled flights, the airline and tourism sectors are struggling to stay afloat. One of the affected businesses is Travala, a leading crypto travel agency. Its CEO and co-founder, Juan Otero, told a virtual blockchain conference that the platform saw a 90% drop in booking volumes.

Just before the lockdown, the Binance-backed travel booking platform was experiencing rapid growth with a gradual rise in total bookings.

The pandemic almost halted the technological revolution that brought people closer together by simplifying how to travel comfortably with cryptocurrency. Surprisingly, several first such as Travala, have managed to cope with the harsh circumstances and hopefully will bounce back soon.

Are We Expecting a Recovery Soon?

While a majority of the world's commercial airlines still grounded due to the partial lockdown, most of them have seized the opportunity to help transport supplies to grieving areas around the world.

Some have made a particular impact by transporting stranded students, government employees, and military officials to various destinations. There is also hope that most areas will open for flights to resume.

bitcoin for travelling

Recent activity at Travala indicates that the online crypto travel booking site could get set to bounce back. Juan Otero reported that the travel agency witnessed a 200% growth in bookings in May.

In June, the firms also saw a 160% month-on-month rise in hotel bookings by domestic travellers. Surprisingly, the new demand is almost two times what the firm was handling at the same time in 2019.

If the site registers the same growth going forward, Otero believes that the travel platform could finally see a full recovery of international bookings before the year ends.

Impact of Crypto in the Travel Industry

Most experts seem to agree that cryptocurrencies are likely to disrupt many industries. Going by the growing number of crypto startups in the travel industry, we could soon see an industry-wide adoption of cryptos, especially when it comes to payment processing.

Blockchain will also be useful when it comes to incorporating intermediaries. Besides, crypto also holds promise for cutting down the transaction costs and enhancing loyalty programs.

Steven Peterson of IBM Institute for Business Value said that crypto is among the recent innovations that could quickly become a rising tide that lifts every boat.

Some believe that its influence in the travel industry could only get compared with cloud computing or even the internet. The integration of digital currencies into the travel sector could be a cure to the slow adoption of cryptos.

The good thing is that the Travel industry already has several resources that can easily integrate new technologies and solutions. The inclusion of cryptos can improve travellers' experiences more conveniently.

For some travellers, paying with cryptocurrencies is a smart way to circumvent currency conversion costs, transactional fees, ATM withdrawals, and cybercrime.

Frequently, travellers get stranded in less developed regions with a shortage of reliable ways to pay for goods or access to ATMs. In these cases, cryptos could become a smart solution. After all, travelling does not end with touching down on our destination.

Most people might also want to spend their cryptos once they arrive at their destinations. If you don't have a crypto debit card, then you can check on stores that accept Bitcoin.

While many businesses accept cryptos nowadays, reaching them can be a challenge. Thankfully, the Bitcoin.com-backed app, Marco Coin, can help you find local merchants that accept BCH.

More Travelers Can Pay With Their Cryptos

While digital currencies are yet to gain mass support, the travel industry seems to be receptacle towards crypto users. Besides Travala, quite a several travel platforms allow their users to book using their cryptos.

For instance, CheapAir was among the first travel firms to process crypto payments, mainly for flights. The positive reception by customers propelled the US-based platform to introduce the same service to accommodation.

In the past few months, Travala has paved the way for many crypto users to use their coins in popular booking platforms such as Expedia and Booking.com. Through its partnership with Expedia, Travala users can book for over 700,000 hotels with over 30 cryptos.

Apart from partnering with these two leading booking sites, Travala has also partnered with TravelByBit to expand its service, especially among crypto users. Overall, the platform allows its users to access more than 2 million homes and hotels across 230 countries.

Not long ago, Travala was involved in another partnership with Bitcoin.com, particularly to integrate with Bitcoin Wallet. As we speak, Bitcoin.com Wallet has over 4 million users, who can now book through the Travala platform. To entice travellers, Travala lets them save up to 40% on some bookings.

Another platform with an almost similar business model to Travala is Bitcoin. Travel. This platform accepts more than seven cryptos.

Users can look for hotels, car rentals, and flights offered by its participating partners. Since payouts get made in digital currencies, there is a likelihood that the participating firms must also be accepting cryptos.

Destinia is a player who makes up the increasing number of travel sites that accept cryptocurrencies. It runs a search engine like most sites, but like Travala, its mainly targeted at crypto holders.

Apart from the usual three, that is, flights, hotels, and rental cars, Destinia also allows you to pay for train tickets using your cryptos. Railway firms in many nations have been somewhat hesitant to adopt cryptocurrencies, but this travel platform has already included this option in their menu.

Destina currently issues rail tickets for several tourist destinations, including Spain, Canada, Italy, Portugal, the UK, France, and the US.

Other travel firms that allow their users to pay with cryptos are Airtreks, Fluege, AbitSky, Nurflug, Corporate Traveller, and Airbaltic.
 

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