Travala.com was launched with the primary objective of enabling travellers to use their cryptocurrency assets in booking hotels and related services. This digital currency -based hotel booking platform has a reach of over 200 countries and territories, with over 82,000 destinations, which makes it a gateway to a more pleasant travel booking experience. It accepts digital currencies, as well as PayPal and credit cards.

In May 2019, they started accepting Litecoin as well. As part of their continued effort towards making the travel booking process easier and simpler, they have recently partnered with Booking.com, the most popular online travel agency. The agreement will now allow users of the Travala platform to book hotels listed on Booking.com and pay with cryptocurrency.

This announcement will surely delight the existing and future users of the Travala service, however, the extent to which these users can impact on crypto adoption is still a big question. Existing users of Booking.com will see no difference in the payment system unless they are Travala users as well.

In other words, only Travala users will be able to access more hotels and accommodations with their crypto assets. So the partnership might not serve as much of an opportunity to promote crypto among general people. The scenario would be different if Booking.com itself allowed payment with digital currencies without involving a third-party. 

Can crypto payment on Booking.com create a vibe among fiat users?

Travala’s official blog first released the news of its strategic partnership agreement with Booking.com. The blog post revealed that the platform’s users can now enjoy stays at more than two million destinations using digital currency as Booking.com allowed access to their vast accommodation listings. It is great news for crypto enthusiasts who want to stay ahead in the world of technology with safe and speedy transactions. Matt Luczynski, the CEO of Travala, said on the recent agreement:

“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… another huge step towards mass cryptocurrency adoption”.

Travala is accepting more than 20 different cryptocurrencies as a payment method for stays at desired places. In reality, several firms tried to set examples of crypto adoption in the past, but very few could sustain in the long run. Many crypto lovers also seem to be optimistic about Travala’s case, however, there is more to it deep down.

Similar to other prominent crypto startups, Travala is using a payment processing service to accept digital coins. On the other hand, Booking.com will take payment only in fiat currencies. So Travala’s payment processors will have to make necessary conversion measures to make final payments for Booking.com. Essentially, Travala members will be using the platform as a crypto-to-fiat converter.

The overall stance of Booking.com towards cryptocurrency has not changed. It is not confirmed yet which crypto payment firm Travala works with but payment options of the platform indicate that there is an integrated system for the users. The payment information page indicates the company also charges a service see in the name of an unnamed payment processor.

Considering this use of the crypto payment processor, the business for Booking.com will be less about actual acceptance of cryptocurrencies and more about selling some more accommodations to people willing to pay with innovative payment methods. 

The experience of existing Booking.com users is unlikely to change

Sadly, the Travala/Booking.com partnership actually benefits those already using crypto assets. For people receiving salaries in digital currency, Tavala brings great news by allowing them to pay for all Booking.com’s listings with their preferred currency. But the crypto payment option is not being opened to the main bulk of Booking.com’s existing users. If they become familiar with digital currency by any chance and want to use that on Booking.com, they will have to come through

Travala and incur service charge which is not convenient at all. AT&T set a good example of crypto promotion by allowing customers to pay with such currency via a payment processor. The customer base of Booking.com can be a nice target to familiarize crypto and increase its adoption, but allowing them to pay with such currencies directly on the platform should be the most important step.