Expedia now allows its over 700,000 accommodations to be booked with cryptocurrency through crypto travel platform Travala.com.
According to an announcement shared with Cointelegraph by Travala.com on July 6, the firm added over 700,000 accommodations to its crypto-powered travel platform’s already over 2 million options available in 230 countries.
Senior Vice President at Expedia Group Alfonso Paredes said that the company aims to scale up Travala.com’s business faster than it did expand so far. Furthermore, he said that the firm also recognizes innovation and the importance of allowing users to choose their preferred payment method.
This is the result of a collaboration with a subsidiary of travel giant Expedia, dubbed Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS). EPS allowed Travala.com to access its Rapid application programming interface, which allows the firm to offer Expedia's accommodations to its users.
Otero said the partnership comes as his travel business rebounds from its COVID-19 lows. In June, Travala.com's month-over month booking revenue surged 170% (to $184,000) and room night bookings jumped 81%. Additionally 13% of bookings were paid in Travala.com's AVA token, a crypto equivalent of loyalty points and airline miles.
“Working with Expedia means we can drive traveler loyalty throughout the recovery period,” he said.
Travala.com users can pay for Expedia listings in over 30 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, which Expedia had accepted before shelving the option in June 2018.
Why did Expedia start using bitcoin?
In June 2014 Michael Gulmann, the global vice-president, issued a statement to the press acknowledging that the company was in a unique position to “Solve travel planning and booking for our customers and partners alike by adopting the latest payment technologies.”
The idea behind this was for Expedia to capitalize on alternative methods of payment, and since Expedia customers had customers already requesting bitcoin as a form of payment, the company made a move with Coinbase to integrate bitcoin payments into their hotel booking system as its payment processor.
Why did Expedia stop using bitcoin?
Likely, there is are an abundant amount of reasons why Expedia stopped using bitcoin, however, I believe it can be summed up as the unstable nature of cryptocurrencies, the lack of commercial adoption and businesses who are using crypto prefer fiat.
Cryptocurrencies are not only unstable because of the pricing volatility, but also instability may arise due to technology decisions made by others. Fast forward to 2018, Coinbase reached a conclusion and suspended custodial solutions for merchants. In effect, this made it a lot more difficult to process bitcoin payments for Expedia, which was when Expedia quietly announced that they would stop using bitcoin.
The last one of a series of deals for Travala
In November 2019, Travala.com struck a similar deal with Booking.com and added its over 90,000 destinations to its platform. Data shared by the firm in January revealed that the firm saw its revenue increase by 33% after the partnership.
Furthermore, crypto accommodation booking Travala.com also merged with cryptocurrency flight booking service TravelByBit in late May. This merger is meant to scale up the platform to give a more thorough service to travelers wishing to spend crypto assets.
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