Travala.com: A crypto-native travel booking service

Rick Steves

As the crypto markets rise to new all-time highs, cryptocurrency holders are suddenly experiencing a heightened sense of purchasing power. 

Luckily for the early adopters of digital assets, the crypto economy of 2024 is vastly superior in size and quality when compared to the days when a pizza was worth 10,000 BTC. 

Travala.com is a perfect example of how the crypto economy is progressively integrating with the global economy.

Revolutionizing travel: How Travala.com leverages blockchain for better deals

Travala.com was founded in 2017 and rapidly became a market leader in the cryptocurrency-native travel booking space. The firm offers access to more than 600 airlines worldwide, 2.2 million homes spread over 230 countries, and 400,000+ activities. Its near-term plans include the addition of further travel products, such as cruises and car hire, as well as integrating a travel insurance option.

The platform makes the most out of its crypto-driven model, offering tokenized rewards, a strong best-price guarantee on stays, and a frictionless booking experience. For their bookings, customers are rewarded with discounts and loyalty rewards in the form of Bitcoin or AVA, a loyalty cryptocurrency designed by the AVA Foundation. These rewards may subsequently be redeemed for other services within the Travala ecosystem or future travel. These points may subsequently be redeemed for other services within the Travala ecosystem or future travel.

For example, its AVA Smart Program allows customers to increase their AVA giveback percentages to up to 10% by locking up AVA in the corresponding membership tiers. Customers can also receive up to an additional 3% discount at checkout when purchasing a travel booking in full with AVA.

But what is AVA?

AVA: The travel loyalty token

AVA serves as the backbone of the AVA Smart Program, the loyalty program created by the AVA Foundation available to travelers on Travala.com. The ERC20 token powers the platform’s operations in order to offer a versatile range of uses from payments to loyalty rewards. This arrangement not only incentivizes travel but also enhances the liquidity and utility of the token within the broader crypto market. 

AVA’s utility extends beyond just a payment method; it anchors the AVA Smart Program, offering benefits like loyalty bonuses, discounts, and participation in decentralized community governance. Furthermore, AVA enables an “Earn Program” where users can lock their tokens to receive rewards, aligning with its vision of a blockchain-empowered travel industry​. 

For digital asset investors, as of recent data, AVA is trading around $0.83 to $0.84 across various exchanges, with a 24-hour trading volume reaching $1.76 million. The circulating supply of AVA is approximately 51.49 million out of a total maximum supply of 100 million, valuing the fully diluted market cap at around $88.39 million​. 

How Travala compares to other online travel agencies

Travala.com was founded by Juan Otero, Matt Luczynski, and Steve Hipwell, who bring critical know-how from the travel business, fintech, and blockchain. The team-up has been essential in forming this online travel agency driven by cryptocurrency. 

Despite its ground-breaking approach and accomplishments, Travala still has to overcome obstacles like adoption among non-crypto enthusiasts and the competitive nature of the travel business, which includes both centralized and decentralized companies.

When comparing Travala.com to leading online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda, it’s essential to consider several key dimensions: payment options, technological innovation, available inventory, loyalty programs, and target markets.

Payment Options: Travala.com takes conventional payment options in addition to more than 90 cryptocurrencies. 

The main payment options accepted by Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda are credit cards, PayPal, and occasionally bank transfers. Expedia used to accept Bitcoin through a cooperation with Coinbase, but this option has since been disabled.

Technological Innovation and User Experience: Blockchain technology is used by Travala.com to provide a transparent and safe booking experience that may result in reduced transaction costs and data integrity. The platform improves transaction security and efficiency by integrating with the Binance Smart Chain.

Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda do not currently employ blockchain technology for bookings or payments, but they do use sophisticated algorithms and data analytics to optimize pricing tactics and customer experience.

Available Inventory and Global Reach: The selection of accommodations on Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda is greater; Booking.com has over 28 million listings, including houses, apartments, and other distinctive places to stay; Expedia and Agoda provide a comparable range of lodging choices as well as extra services like flights and car rentals.

Travala.com presents a wide array of travel items by providing access to over 2.2 million properties globally, in addition to flights, activities, and vehicle rentals. However, through smart alliances, the crypto-native trip booking business continues to aggressively grow its customer base and selection. Recent partnerships include Dtravel (for short-term rental operators), Booking.com (for 90,000 destinations), Expedia (over 700,000 hotels and accommodations), and Viator (over 400,000 tours and activities).

Loyalty Programs: The AVA Smart Program utilises the AVA token to reward users with discounts, loyalty rewards, and payment flexibility, creating a unique ecosystem where travelers can earn and spend within the Travala network.

Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda offer traditional loyalty programs. For instance, Booking.com’s Genius loyalty program provides tiered benefits based on booking activity, while Expedia Rewards and AgodaCash offer points or cashback on bookings that can be used for discounts on future travels.

Target Market: Travala.com targets a niche market of cryptocurrency users and tech-savvy travelers looking for innovative payment solutions and a secure, blockchain-based booking platform. As crypto adoption grows as widely expected, the audience is likely to broaden and so will the listings available on the platform. 

Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda cater to a broad audience, from casual travelers to business clients, focusing on providing a wide range of options, competitive prices, and user-friendly experiences without a specific focus on cryptocurrency payments.

Conclusion

All things considered, Travala.com, in conjunction with the AVA Foundation, are at the forefront of incorporating cryptocurrency into the tourism sector.

Looking ahead, it is evident that Travala.com is more than just a travel website; it is evidence of the expanding impact of the crypto ecosystem on the world economy. The acceptance of Travala.com’s AVA token and its success demonstrate a larger trend: the easy incorporation of virtual currencies into regular commerce. 

As the platform develops and broadens its offers, it serves as a model for the effective integration of cryptocurrencies into the international economy and holds out hope for a time when traditional and digital finance will come together to build a more open, effective, and just society.

Disclaimer: The subject matter and the content of this article are solely the views of the author. FinanceFeeds does not bear any legal responsibility for the content of this article and they do not reflect the viewpoint of FinanceFeeds or its editorial staff.

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