You Can Now Get Bitcoin Rewards When Booking At Hotels.Com (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin (BTC) rewards shopping app Lolli has expanded its business by adding major booking service Hotels.com to its partners, the company announced in a blog post on June 25. You Can Now Get Bitcoin Rewards When Booking At Hotels.Com (#GotBitcoin?)
With the new partnership, the New York-based firm now has two of the world’s top three travel websites including Booking.com and Hotels.com, Lolli said in the announcement, citing data from traffic analytics service SimilarWeb.
Founded in March 2018, Lolli allows users to earn Satoshis (sats), the smallest unit of bitcoin currency worth of 0.00000001 BTC, while shopping online. The firm claims to be the first bitcoin rewards application with over 500 brands as partners, including flagship brand of American global hotel service Hilton, as well as Marriott, VRBO, and Priceline, among others.
Following the partnership with Hotels.com, Lolli now enables global travellers to earn up to 3.5% bitcoin back from purchases on the website, the company said in the announcement.
Hotels.com is a major online accommodation service listing more than 325,000 properties in about 19,000 locations over the globe.
Prior to the announcement of the partnership, Lolli initiated a giveaway quiz on Twitter, promising to give one million satoshis, 0.01 BTC (around $100) to the person who first guesses the new partner.
Back in November 2018, Lolli raised $2.25 million in an oversubscribed seed round from investors including Digital Currency Group.
Bitcoin is no stranger to the travel industry, however. Cheapair was one of the first to accept BTC in 2014. More recently in April, United Kingdom’s largest travel management company Corporate Traveller announced it will be accepting bitcoin for payments.
Crypto.com: Buy, Sell and Pay With Crypto
Crypto Booking Firm Travala Partners with Travel Giant Booking.com
Travala announced in a press release on Nov. 25 that it has already integrated Booking’s accommodations to its platform. The new feature will purportedly allow users to book 90,000 different destinations using cryptocurrencies.
Pay For Your Stay With Crypto
Travala’s customers can pay with its proprietary AVA token and 20 major crypto assets including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Dash (DASH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), EOS, Stellar (XLM), Cardano (ADA), Binance Chain (BNB), Monero (XMR), Tron (TRX), XRP and Dai (DAI). The firm’s CEO Matt Luczynski commented:
“This partnership allows our users to access Booking.com’s accommodation listings, as well as the listings from several other leading travel suppliers, which is a fantastic use case for our own AVA token and another huge step towards mass cryptocurrency adoption.”
Also on Nov. 25, Travala announced that its proprietary token was listed on the decentralized exchange Binance DEX and is currently trading against Binance Coin on the platform.
Crytpo expands into tourism
Different travel and tourism companies worldwide have begun adding support for cryptocurrencies as payment options. Earlier this month, Alternative Airlines, a travel company based in the United Kingdom, partnered with cryptocurrency service Utrust to facilitate payments with crypto.
Earlier this summer, the co-founders of Scandinavian air carrier Norwegian Air announced plans to launch their own cryptocurrency exchange, which will subsequently facilitate the airline’s acceptance of cryptocurrency payments.
Crypto Booking Service Sees 33% Boost After Partnership With Booking.com
Cryptocurrency-accepting booking service Travala has seen its revenue for the month of December go up by over 33.5% month-on-month following a partnership with Booking.com.
According to a post published on the firm’s official blog on Jan. 1, Travala has also seen the total monthly number of accommodation nights booked through the service reach 1,528 in December, which is a 15.2% increase since November. Furthermore, the average room price increased by over 15%, from $115 to $133 over the same period.
Over 9% of December’s bookings were paid in Travala’s proprietary token, AVA. Furthermore, 28% of them were paid in Bitcoin (BTC), 8% in Bitcoin Cash (BCH), 37% with credit card and PayPal while the rest with other crypto assets. Overall, over 60% of the total bookings were paid for in crypto.
In November, Travala partnered with travel accommodation booking giant Booking.com. Since the cooperation started, the service started allowing its users to book any stay available on Booking.com while paying with cryptocurrency.
Crypto And Tourism
The tourism and travel industry is increasingly accepting cryptocurrency to facilitate transactions in an increasingly interconnected and global world. In November, Alternative Airlines, a travel company based in the United Kingdom, started a collaboration with cryptocurrency service Utrust to facilitate payments with crypto.
Furthermore, last summer the Scandinavian air carrier Norwegian Air announced that the firm plans to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange to facilitate the airline’s acceptance of cryptocurrency payments.
Travel And Pay In Bitcoin
If a traveler only has Bitcoin at their disposal, the following merchants will gladly offer services in exchange for it. TravelbyBit, a flight and hotel booking service, accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Binance Coin and Litecoin (LTC) as payment. Also, major travel company Hotels.com allows you to book vacation stays using Bitcoin.
With a network of over 300 crypto-friendly merchants, the platform is one of the biggest supporters of crypto adoption.
TravelbyBit can also alert you to upcoming blockchain events in order to interact with other crypto enthusiasts from around the globe. Other platforms to book flights with crypto include Destinia, CheapBizClass, CheapAir, AirBaltic, Bitcoin.Travel and ABitSky, among others.
Use Crypto To Book A Five-Star Hotel In Zurich
If ever one finds themselves traveling to Zurich Switzerland, either BTC or Ether (ETH) can be used to pay for a stay in a five-star hotel in Zurich. In May 2019, five-star hotel and spa Dodler Grand announced that it will start accepting Bitcoin and Ether as payment.
The hotel has partnered with a fintech firm Inacta as well as Bity (a Swiss-based crypto exchange) to facilitate the payment and conversion of crypto to fiat money. The hotel boasts an amazing view of the Swiss landscape among other enticing amenities that come with a five-star hotel.
You Can Now Get, You Can Now Get
Norwegian Air May Allow Customers To Pay With Crypto As Soon As Spring
Travelers on Norwegian Air, one of the largest airlines in Europe, will soon be able to pay for flights using cryptocurrency.
In an interview with a local business newspaper, Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) CEO Stig Kjos-Mathisen said his crypto trading platform had successfully developed payment infrastructure that will allow customers on Norwegian Air to purchase tickets with digital assets.
“Everything is ready to go from our side”, Kjos-Mathisen said in the interview. NBX aims to roll out the new feature to Norwegian customers sometime later this year, possibly as early as the spring.
Kjos-Mathisen is the son-in-law of Bjørn Kjos, the founder and CEO of Norwegian Air, who has been involved in NBX since it launched in 2019. The plan has always been to use the exchange to offer cryptocurrency support for airline ticket purchases.
In September, one of the oldest banks in Norway acquired a 16.3 percent in NBX for a reported $1.6 million. The exchange opened for beta users last September and is now accepting general customers.
Founded in 1993, Norwegian Air Shuttle is the largest airline in Scandinavia and the third-largest low-cost airline in Europe. It flies to destinations all across Europe and North Africa, as well as selected cities in the Americas.
Following extensive cost cuts, the company reported its best-ever quarterly result last October, with a pre-tax profit of 2.2 billion Norwegian kroner (roughly US$215 million). The airline carried over 37 million passengers in 2018, its highest ever figure within a single year.
It is unclear so far which digital assets will be supported on NBX or for ticket payments. The founder’s son, Lars Ola Kjors, is believed to have bought 3.5 million NOK ($404,000) worth of bitcoin (BTC) in 2017 before the cryptocurrency hit its all-time high of around $20,000.
Cryptocurrency Adoption: How Can Crypto Change The Travel Industry?
If government corruption affects the stability of the national currency, it’s only natural that citizens will turn to gold or other assets like Bitcoin (BTC) to invest their savings. It offers them a sense of financial control in an otherwise unstable market.
And it’s not just investing that is feeling the impact of crypto. This technology has the capacity to change the way we live. The freedom to travel and transact is a fundamental right everyone should have, and cryptocurrency adoption is all about providing freedom.
The world is becoming easier to navigate, and people are increasingly traveling to parts that are not equipped to deal with tourism. Often travelers can be caught out in less developed countries with no access to ATMs and a shortage of reliable ways to pay for goods. The use of digital currencies and smartphones could become the best solution.
Imagine not having to search for the best exchange rates or having to carry the local fiat currency around in a wallet. This is freedom. Paying for goods and services on a mobile phone — and even a watch — has been an increasing phenomenon with services like Apple Pay and Google Pay on Android.
According to research, the amount of people who own mobile phones around the world is on the rise. Ownership levels in developing economies are highest in Vietnam, where 97% of adults own a mobile device, although about 90% or more also own one in Jordan, Tunisia, Colombia, Kenya, Lebanon and South Africa.
Ownership is lowest in Venezuela, India and the Philippines, but even in these countries, about 70% of adults own a mobile device.
In the future, more hotels, restaurants and shops will be set up with crypto wallets on a smartphone or similar device to accept global payments in seconds — and this may happen in the developing world faster than the developed world.
The travel industry is one of the biggest industries in the world with around $1.7 trillion expected to be spent this year alone, making it the world’s second-fastest-growing industry. Now, crypto travel companies are making global crypto travel a reality.
As with all technology development, government and community help are paramount. The state government of Queensland in Australia is committed to technological innovation within the travel industry.
They have helped to make the Brisbane airport the first in the world to have 30 merchants accept cryptocurrency. In fact, Queensland is trailblazing crypto tourism with the regional town of Agnes Water, located at the southern end of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Here, travelers can find more than 40 businesses that accept crypto, allowing them to pay with Bitcoin for their accommodations, meals and even a day tour to the reef.
Additionally, travel giant Expedia is now back in the crypto game, having stepped out of it in 2018 when they stopped accepting Bitcoin payments directly through their platform. Now, they are offering cryptocurrency holders the ability to book their travels and holidays through the site and giving them access to thousands of hotels around the world.
Helping The Unbanked
The figures speak for themselves. Globally, there are around 1.7 billion adults who are unbanked, mostly in developing countries like India, Egypt and parts of Africa. Without a fiat bank account, people from these countries can struggle to participate in the global economy. This affects many of the developing countries and their ability to trade in the world market. Crypto adoption can help change that.
It is important to understand that while it is still in the very early stages of adoption, crypto is much more than just a speculative asset, but it also has the ability to be used in the same way as any currency.
However, problems do exist. For example, many businesses that accept crypto for their services will charge users a high premium, which poses a barrier to adoption. This must be addressed and changed. Crypto must be usable, which is why it is important to provide incentives for early adopters.
Visa debit cards that convert crypto into fiat are becoming more common and are helping to grow the ecosystem. Allowing users to use cryptocurrency anywhere that accepts credit card payments will broaden adoption and take off.
Enticing users into the space with incentives will also help drive adoption, and as with credit card payments, more competition in the marketplace will help drive down fees. As crypto becomes more widely used, it will become more attractive to those who have never experimented with it and will lead more individuals to “give it a try.” This can only be a good thing for the wider crypto travel industry.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Caleb Yeoh is the CEO of TravelbyBit, an Australia-based company that has been instrumental in driving crypto adoption in Australia. Its travel booking platform was launched with the help of Binance, and lets travelers book their flights and hotels with cryptocurrency and earn rewards by doing so.
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