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Hotel booking service Travala.com and flight booking website TravelByBit — both of which accept cryptocurrencies as payment — announced a merger of their platforms.
According to an announcement on May 20, Travala.com and TravelByBit will merge to become a platform allowing users to book from over 2 million hotels and 600 airlines.
An initiative backed by Binance
Both the companies are backed by the leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. The exchange’s CEO Changpeng Zhao praised the firms as he believes they are able to provide a state-of-the-art travel booking service for the crypto community.
Travala.com currently supports payments in fiat and over 25 popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB) and Binance Dollar (BUSD) and features a best price guarantee.
Furthermore, the platform also has its own AVA token which grants users access to bonuses and discounts that shortly will be available on TravelByBit as well. A Travala spokesperson explained:
“As the native cryptocurrency of the Travala.com platform, AVA can now be used for payments, receiving loyalty rewards and accessing exclusive discounts and bonuses as part of our Smart Program. […] Every time a booking is completed on Travala.com, the traveller gets 2% of the total booking price back in AVA.”
High hopes for adoption
A representative of the firms told Cointelegraph that “the merged platform is forecasting next 12-month revenue levels in excess of US $10 million based on the existing growth traction in travel bookings prior to COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions being put in place.”
The firms claim that the merged platform will be better than traditional alternatives since it will offer tokenized rewards and more payment options. Furthermore, the platform focuses on the underserved niche of blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
As Cointelegraph reported in November 2019, Travala.com partnered with Booking.com to allow its users to book any accommodation that is present on the travel giant’s website. January reports showed that the platform has seen a 33% boost in usage after the partnership.