Putting the discussion if cryptocurrencies are a good store of value aside, it’s undeniable that we’ve seen an increase of people that are actually owning cryptocurrencies. And it doesn’t stop with owning, as crypto was originally developed as p2p money, it’s not a stretch to say people also want to spend their crypto.
In 2018 one of the biggest booking platforms expedia.com stopped accepting bitcoin payments. This left all crypto-enthusiasts looking to spend their crypto on the next trip to a crypto conference in a void. They could obviously use a crypto debit card, but that doesn’t quite seem right.
This is where Travala comes in. Travala.com has soon grown into the biggest crypto travel agencies with more than 2,000,000 properties all around the world. Travala.com is well on its mission to be the next-generation online travel agency with a focus on crypto and the community surrounding it.
While Travala.com accepts 26 different major cryptocurrencies for payments, accepting crypto is just one part of what makes them different. Thanks to years of experience in the travel industry the team behind Travala.com was painfully aware of existing problems not only for customers but also on side of the service-providers. For one, booking platforms often force accommodation providers into price parity agreements, which means that accommodations have to be offered with a markup of 15%~35% ultimately leading to consumers paying more than they’d have to. This can even lead to reputational damage on the service providers site when booking platforms forced them first to offer with a significant markup, only to then offer “false” discounts to consumers. Discounts can make the hotel look desperate and also increase the likelihood of customers not wanting to pay full-prices anymore. Service-providers also lack the means to customize booking experiences, to offer a wide range of payment methods or to efficiently conduct loyalty programs.
Travala.com is a platform that solves problems for customers and service providers alike powered by blockchain technology. Anyone who has ever used a booking platform before will intuitively be able to navigate through the platform, without even knowing that blockchain is in the backend.
It has everything the modern traveller would expect: instant confirmation, guaranteed booking and refund policy. In particular, the refund policy is worth mentioning as usually transactions with crypto cannot be reversed. The work-around employed is to not reverse the transaction, but to refund travellers with a liquid BEP2 stablecoin. This way, they will still be receiving a value equal to their original transaction, no matter in which cryptocurrency it was. On top of that, all accommodations on Travala.com are on average available for 15% less than on their competitors’ platforms.
The first time even a non-crypto user will experience tokens on Travala.com is once confirming a booking and receiving a cash-back in the native token: AVA.
AVA is the backbone of the whole ecosystem. Initially a NEO token, AVA has migrated to Binance Chain in December 2019, making it a BEP2-token.
There are several ways to earn AVA on the platform. It can be earned by contributing to Travala.com in the form of leaving reviews for accommodations, by creating content or by successfully referring new travellers to the platform. Additionally, travellers are incentivized to keep a certain amount of AVA to receive rewards and to participate in the loyalty program. Naturally, they can also choose to pay for their bookings with AVA for an additional discount.
Every quarter, Travala.com is committing a part of their revenues to re-purchasing and burning tokens. The first quarterly burn happened earlier this year in January 2020. The plan is to reduce supply by 35% so that there will ultimately 40,000,000 AVA be left.
All in all, Travala.com has been hugely successful in capturing the crypto-communities appetite for travelling and making crypto more accessible. It’ll be exciting to see, where they are headed.
Travala.com’s AVA will be listing on Bitcoin.com Exchange today, March 19th at 13:00 UTC.