Crypto is penetrating the tourism industry at a slow, but steady pace.
After a significant number of social media followers suggested the possibility of payments in cryptocurrencies, one of the largest and most prominent travel companies in the world, Airbnb, announced that it is thinking of introducing such a system.
If the company embarks on such a project, it would join a general trend among US-based companies that start allowing some forms of crypto payments. After customers listed some of the preferable cryptos they would like to see the company accepting (top choices are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Shiba Inu), Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky confirmed that multiple coins and tokens will be taken into account.
The recent intensive Twitter correspondence between the company and its customers is not the first time the customers are asking the company to start accepting crypto on the Airbnb platform. According to Chesky, these requests have been presented to the company for several years now.
A synergy between blockchain and tourism seems likely in the future, as the hospitality industry needs all the help it can get considering the fact that it is one of the industries that was most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thailand was one of the first countries to recognize the potential of crypto tourism when officials declared that the local exchanges and crypto-friendly companies are collaborating to provide packages for customers willing to pay with crypto.
Earlier in 2021, The Kessler Collection became the first US hotel group that enabled crypto payments, accepting several crypto and stablecoins after partnering with BitPay. AirBaltic also allows Bitcoin transactions without fees, but only for basic packages. Furthermore, some sites, such as Berkley Travel, and numerous travel websites across the world already allow payments in crypto as well.
In September, tourism even got its first cryptocurrency. Ariva World, an international travel platform connecting travellers and tourism providers, launched its Binance-based token, aspiring to overcome the flaws of the old system and reward first adopters.
However, not all industry actors are crypto-optimistic, as the cases of safety breaches and scams keep reaching the headlines. The many high-level frauds are alarming the state authorities as well, and many countries prepare restrictive taxation legislation for the crypto market.