Just a handful of companies accept cryptocurrency payments for hotel and accommodation bookings, car rentals and vacation. Most do accept only the popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin but there are others that let you spend different crypto on hotel and vacation rentals.
For instance, Hungary-based More Stamps Global is a travel agency that is currently accepting more than 40 different cryptocurrencies as payment for flights, car rentals, activities and hotel bookings. The website even allows you to pay for various vacation destinations using these cryptocurrencies. Other travel agencies that accept crypto payments include Spanish-based Destinia that allows you to pay for flights, hotels and car rentals with Bitcoins; WebJet Exclusives from Australia; BTCTrip from New York; Abitsky flight booking site; Airbaltic, a Latvian carrier that allows Bitcoin payments for around 60 destinations in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and the CIS via the Bitpay payment processor; Bitcoin.Travel; Berkeley travel agency; eTravelSmart online bus booking portal; and the list goes on an on.
Accepting direct cryptocurrency payments by hotels and vacation destinations and partners is one huge way of helping with adoption of cryptocurrencies around the world even without the company accepting crypto owning a blockchain platform.
But another huge way of encouraging adoption is platforms utilizing blockchains to facilitate hotel and vacation booking and rental transactions such that these transactions end up becoming very cheap for both hotels and clients. There are many blockchain platforms under development seeking to do this although most of them are just startups right out from ICOs.
Enter LockTrip, an example of the many startups using blockchain to change the way online hotel accommodations and bookings are made by travelers around the world, and which now has more than 400,000 sign ups by hotels from different locations around the world. It lets anyone to enjoy cheaper travel without paying unnecessary commissions to middlemen that add no value to the service.
The platform works by using blockchain to see clients booking hotels with credit cards and fiat on the blockchain ecosystem. The fiat is then converted into LOC digital currency via API connectivity with exchanges, while booking of the accommodation and hotel is executed with LOC at zero percent commission.
Currently, the product is live with 100,000 hotels already using it. At alpha launch October last year, the platform had a marketplace containing 600 vacation properties bookable with LOC in UK before hotel bookings were added. Vacation rentals can still be booked with LOC cryptocurrency. The platform raised 100% target during their ICO in November last year. The startup has now entered into agreements with 100,000 hotels worldwide that can be booked at an average price of 15%-18% cheaper than current OTAs.
The blockchain system uses smart contracts to manage bookings and when the check-out is complete, the smart contract will release the payment to the hotel. But not yet still because the LOC will need to be converted back to fiat if the hotel desires to receive that payment in fiat. The fiat payout is made to the hotel at zero commission to them.
Therefore, it doesn't matter whether the hotel wants to deal with cryptocurrencies. Even if they do not know how to handle cryptocurrencies or have never handled it, they can still enjoy the cuts in costs of services on the platform and receive cryptocurrency payments from clients using crypto because conversion will be done on the system.
Currently, LOC is an operating cryptocurrency that is already on sale at more than 6 digital exchanges.
The platform also features an integrated marketplace where hoteliers and short term rental owners will be able to sell rooms for 20 percent lower than market prices without affecting their prices.
It is decentralized and any third party (hotel and other partners) can not only list their hotel and other property for renting, but can also connect and offer travel services at zero commission. The result will also be lower costs for hotels using the platform.
The marketplace, which has full check-out experience, can also be accessed and used on a mobile application. With check-out experience, 100,000 hotels and 1,500 vacation rental offers already using it live, and a global coverage, it means customers can now book vacation rentals and hotels with the cryptocurrency.
The iOS and Android application supports the booking of 100 k hotels and 1500 vacation rentals although it is a per-release alpha version of the apps. On these apps, users can create a wallet, search for hotels, manage their profiles and use messaging feature that is halfway implemented.