Opinion The Role of Crypto in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

The Role of Crypto in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

August 4, 2018

Recently, there has been a range of businesses that are on the lookout how the crypto field can help their bottom line. While some have been active in this regard for a number of years, a lot of business organization began taking notice with the start of 2017, when the price tags of some many cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, when through the roof.

Today, these price tags got down a bit, but the whole principle of perceiving cryptocurrencies as something potentially lucrative did not go away. That is the reason why today, the same process continues and many ventures, both large and small are trying to devise ways to utilize crypto alternatives to improve their business.

Some industries are better adapted to this possibility. For example, eSports is a natural fit for the fast transaction and low fees that come with using cryptocurrencies, both of which are great news for a player, no matter where he or she lives. At the same time, this feature will allow any business that is in the eSports arena to further develop the potential of blockchain use in this domain.

Recently, a development in Australia has shown a light on the potential merger between the tourism industry and the cryptocurrencies and the blockchain tech. For crypto enthusiasts, the news and the development is a huge step in the right direction, but others remain skeptical. Here is an overview of what this can mean for the global tourism industry and how could this process take place.

The Queensland Initiative

The government of Australia’s Queensland state has decided to give a $100,000 grant to a venture that is working in the field of crypto travel experience. This company is a startup by the name of TravelbyBit and it creates tourists routes where the travelers can pay using crypto. It also provided a crypto payment platform for the merchants in the same niche.

Queensland’s minister of Innovation Kate Jones stated that tourism is one of the most important industries of the state. According to her, TravelbyBit has been able to create a platform that allows for both travelers and industry workers to have an easier way of using crypto. This also fits in perfectly with a rising number of businesses in the same state they are already accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Clearly, the state already possesses some infrastructure for the crypto payment procedures and the inclusion of the entire state funding process looks like a logical next step. The results could be years in the making but it can be devised from Jones’ statement that Queensland is basically building up infrastructure for its future.

Australian Acceptance of Innovation

The same startup is not the only company that has been helped by the government. In fact, over 70 companies will attain some funds from the 8.3 million state grant. In the case of the TravelbyBit, the money will go through the process of scaling up their operations.

Caleb Yeoh, the startups CEO, there are over 150 merchants that constantly take payments in the form of cryptocurrency system operated by TravelbyBit. The company, however, has bigger plans and is aiming to create the first crypto friendly airport in Brisbane. It has already created a partnership with the Brisbane Airport Corporation to make sure this really does happen.

Now, as Yeoh explained, the company is ready for its next phase – targeting the tech-savvy travelers from the entire globe. These individuals are looking to book their complete travel experience before the trip begins, but also to pay for it using one or more cryptocurrencies.

This means that Australia and its company will be the first in the world to provide such a possibility. The profits that are inbound might not be given immediately once the service starts working, but it is clearly assuring its top spot in this sub-industry of the crypto field

Correlating Focus Groups

Once the prospect is examined, it is quickly revealed that crypto users and tourists, especially those interested in venturing off the beaten track, can come from similar populations. Both are clearly individuals who are interested in novel things and ready to take risks.

They are also most likely flexible and use technology to a great extent when they go about their everyday activities, including travel. Targeting them seems to be a logical step, especially for a country like Australia. There, thanks to the high degree of development, there are many who already own and use some cryptocurrency. It seems that TravelbyBit is connecting the dots with the same service.

But, at the same time, some are wondering if the service has a key fracture in its concept. This comes in the form of a question – having in mind the current state of the crypto markets, where volatility is seemingly constantly off the charts and most are in the same domain as traders or long-term investors, would anyone spend their crypto assets on anything like travel arrangements?

Emergency Funds as a means of Cryptocurrency Use

Globally, as well as with TravelbyBit, there seems to be a single use of crypto that would seem completely valid, in spite of the unstable nature of the market – emergency funds. Essentially, travelers could reach for their digital wallets and use their funds once their fiat balance is depleted. The reasons for this depletion could be both expected and unexpected.

In any case, the crypto funds would then act as an ace in a sleeve and would help the traveler out without the need for them to have money wired or something similar. In this sense, having a platform like TravelbyBit could be a great benefit because it would act as an intermediary between the wallet and a payment receiver that might not otherwise accept crypto.

Aside from this type of service, it seems that currently, with these levels of adoption, crypto is simply not big enough to make a difference to a hospitality industry anywhere in the world. Niche service providers could benefit greatly from them, but on a larger level, the numbers are still too small to produce a meaningful positive effect.