How Crypto Can Save the Travel Industry


Despite the prevalence of online travel agencies, consumers are still facing the problems of inefficiencies such as high commission fees for hotel partners and endless fake reviews which damages consumer trust.

We spoke with Matthew Luczynski, CEO, and Co-Founder at Travala, about how crypto could be the missing link as well as Travala’s business model. The company made news recently by accepting several cryptocurrencies for the booking of hotels around the world. 

BTCManager

Between hotel booking sites and concert ticket vendors, the public seems just about fed up with the monopoly that certain middlemen have in the entertainment and hospitality industry and their high fees. How can Blockchain help to break that?

Matthew

With high fees and limited choice, the monopoly of middlemen, from hotel booking sites to concert ticket vendors, is not in the best interest of consumer or supplier. The application of blockchain technology has resulted in a power-share among all parties with improved transparency, security, and efficiency. The advent of real-world blockchain applications signifies a third evolutionary leap for human connectivity. In the travel industry, this enables buyers and sellers to interact directly and benefit from lower fees, instant payments, better security, and a trusted service.

BTCManager

One would think that with the internet, there would be fewer middlemen in the travel booking process but there are more than ever. How did we get here?

Matthew

The Online Travel Agency or OTA model was revolutionary when it arrived over ten years ago and the functionality of the model itself is not broken, simply the parameters to which it is tuned to operate. In an ideal world, hotels and other accommodation suppliers would be empowered to connect through an OTA-style platform which would offer a transparent, secure, and efficient means of connecting with their customers.

BTCManager

Travala has really helped break cryptos into the market by allowing various tokens to be used in the booming of flights, rooms and so on. What has been the customer and vendor response to this?

Matthew

Our customers and community are loyal supporters of Travala, as it provides them with the opportunity to engage with the crypto economy and spend tokens in the real world, driving the industry forward. Financially, it also works in their favor when prices go up, as they are able to afford a more luxury stay with the same amount, in addition to the existing 15% savings on average.

For vendors, they are not only supporting revolutionary technology but appealing to the next-gen traveler that wants choice, efficiency, and a service they can trust. In terms of the financials, we convert all crypto payments, so vendors receive payment in fiat which means there are no conversions or potential losses on their side.

BTCManager

What criteria was Travala use in selecting tokens to accept on your platform?

Matthew

As our goal is to drive the mainstream use of cryptocurrencies and tokens, we tend to partner and accept tokens from projects that firstly share our vision and secondly have large communities to drive this goal forward, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, to name a few.

BTCManager

Considering the volatility of the crypto market, is it difficult to accept tokens as a means of payment, knowing that its value could change drastically within hours?

Matthew

No, it isn’t difficult to accept tokens as a means of payment. For crypto payments, when customers book on our website, they’ll pay the full amount of the booking. We will then handle the conversion of crypto into fiat to mitigate the volatility risk and to pay our suppliers. The bottom line here is not how to accept tokens but which token to accept for mass adoption.

BTCManager

Customers have become increasingly suspicious of travel reviews due to the advent of fake reviews being posted. How can this be combated? One travel industry trend that has met a mixed reaction is influencer marketing (social media personalities being paid to promote locations, hotels and so on). Do you think this practice will continue to thrive or is it just a fad?

Matthew

Travel reviews are primarily incentivized by negative experiences, as most travelers have positive experiences but are not motivated to leave reviews to attest to this. At the moment, it’s estimated that approximately one-third of all reviews on major travel sites are indeed fake. By utilizing smart contracts and immutable reviews we ensure users only have access to legitimate reviews and authentic user experiences.

As more than 80% of travelers make decisions based on reviews, we think the practice of influencer marketing will continue to thrive and the importance of a genuine verification system and adequate economic incentivization for well-intentioned reviewers cannot be understated. We look forward to shaping the industry standard for authentic reviews and influencer marketing models.

BTCManager

What can we expect from Travala in the next few months?

Matthew

We expect some serious growth in the coming months with what we have in the way of partnerships, outreach, and technical development. We will also be working with some large projects through partnerships and sponsorship as well as continuing to become the go-to accommodation provider within the world of blockchain. We are also rapidly increasing our bookings month-on-month which will continue to be a great achievement.

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