Travala.com, a Binance-backed online travel agency (OTA), is adding support for Expedia bookings in a partnership that brings bitcoin payments back to the travel giantas properties for the first time since 2018.
The Australia-based booking platform plugged into Expedia Group Partner Services Rapid API and its 700,000 listed hotels on Monday.
Travala.com users can pay for Expedia listings in over 30 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, which Expedia had accepted before shelving the option in June 2018.
Their booking flow isn’t built for [crypto] like ours is, Travala.com CEO Juan Otero told CoinDesk. It was a bit of a nightmare for them to accept bitcoin payments.
Expedia Partner Services Senior Vice President Alfonso Paredes said in a press statement that Expedia recognizes that âpayment choice continues to evolve. He said the partnership will help Travala.com scale.
The partnership marks a rare alliance between a crypto-focused firm and its widely-known, juggernaut competitor: Expedia is the world’s second-largest OTA. Travala.com is one of the very few projects in the crypto space that is bridging the gap to traditional multinationals in a huge way Otero said.
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Otero said the partnership comes as his travel business rebounds from its COVID-19 lows. In June, Travala.com month-over month booking revenue surged 170% (to $184,000) and room night bookings jumped 81%. Additionally, 13% of bookings were paid in Travala.com AVA token, a crypto equivalent of loyalty points, and airline miles.
Working with Expedia means we can drive traveler loyalty throughout the recovery period, he said.