Booking.com has partnered with cryptocurrency-friendly platform Travala to open up its accom inventory worldwide to Bitcoin-style payments.
The collaboration adds Booking.com’s accommodation listings to the Travala portal in 90,000 destinations and more than 230 countries worldwide.
Travala is a specialist travel agency which lists properties accepting a range of more than 20 different cryptocurrencies, including its own native token, AVA.
While the deal doesn’t impact Booking.com’s millions of existing users, it allows cryptocurrency enthusiasts access to a far wider inventory that they can now use digital assets to pay for.
Travala CEO Matt Luczynski said: “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.”
While there are a number of other crypto-supporting travel sites, including Cheapair, Bitcoin.Travel, Travelbybit, Destinia, Greitai, and Airtreks, Travala.com has emerged as a market leader. The partnership with Booking.com now makes the 2017 start-up one of the largest OTAs in the world by number of bookable hotels.
“Booking.com have recognised the value in making its vast portfolio of properties available to the growing blockchain and cryptocurrency markets,” the company said in a statement.
“Such a move by Booking.com is a sign that we are close to seeing the industry’s acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a standard form of payment for travel bookings.”
Others are more sceptical about the implications of the deal, newsbtc.com saying of Travala: “The company…lists a service fee levied by an unnamed payment processing firm as part of its cryptocurrency payment information pages.
“Given this use of a payment processor, the deal, for Booking.com, will be less about genuine acceptance of digital currencies and more about selling a few more hotel rooms to those wanting to pay using the cutting-edge payment methods.”