Crypto Currency has changing the Travel Industry
Over the past few years, the popularity of cryptocurrencies has been growing at a wild pace – and so has the consumer appetite for more use cases of crypto in travel. There may be a long way to go, but the progress has certainly been promising: Out of the top crypto-friendly industries, travel is number one, a recent study claims.
It’s now as clear as day that cryptocurrencies – and their underlying principles – are bound to have seismic effects on the travel industry. Here’s how.
Easy, Transparent Payments All Around
In January, Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, hit Twitter to survey the company’s followers on what the company should launch this year. The result? Unsurprisingly, what came out on top of the list was being able to pay for bookings in crypto.
These findings go hand in hand with the results of another survey, which found that 22 percent of American travelers now want to pay with crypto. Luckily, the industry has wasted no time to react to this growing demand, with platforms like Expedia already allowing customers to pay for hotel bookings using Bitcoin. And airlines are starting to follow suit, with AirBaltic, Norwegian Air and LOT Polish Airlines being some of those already accepting crypto payments.
Loyalty Programs, Redefined
According to MasterCard data, loyalty programs have never been as popular as they are today, with 90 percent of US adults belonging to at least one. For travel, loyalty and cashback programs are fundamental, helping businesses compete with aggregator platforms, bring back returning customers and encourage them to travel more often.
But while traditional loyalty programs have been around for decades, they have lost their shine compared to exciting crypto rewards.
Bidding Goodbye to Physical Tickets and Manual Confirmations
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will be a critical blockchain-powered innovation to shake up travel, too. Representing the true proof of digital ownership (that can manifest in the real world), NFTs could act as a form of passport or ticket to provide verifiable and transparent access to goods and services within the travel industry.
Lost or flawed reservations or a traveler having to use different platforms would be a thing of the past. With NFTs, travelers could simply have all the information stored in their wallets, decreasing the risk of fraud while enhancing their customer experience.
Both travelers and travel businesses that have not yet ventured into crypto may find it intimidating. While there are certain challenges, including the rolling regulations and value fluctuations, these will get resolved as the market matures. When that happens, it will be the early adopters that will best know how to navigate the space – and thrive.