Travel firms should adopt crypto payment capabilities, study finds

Companies operating for five years or fewer are more inclined to offer alternative payment solutions

Traveller in T-shirt and straw hat with a backpack walking along a street lined with tuk-tuks                                 
Those travelling five times a year are more than twice as likely to own Bitcoin than the general public – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

While cryptocurrencies and digital assets have evolved from a niche financial tool into a mainstream payment function, very few travel firms have yet to expand into allowing cryptocurrencies as alternative payment options.

A recent study of more than 500 small businesses in the United States, by speciality insurer HSB, showed that 36% of businesses now accept digital currencies as payment for goods and services. However, there is yet to be a major hotel or travel firm to make the move into cryptocurrencies.

Mainstream adoption

Earlier this month, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky asked his Twitter audience about what users would want to see the company launch in 2022. Cryptocurrency topped the list.  

And the opportunity is clear – a recent report found that the links between crypto users and travellers show great potential to help with international travel bookings and help alleviate the frustration around costly currency exchanges.

Frequent travellers are also significantly more likely to own Bitcoin than the general public, according to the research by Morning Consult. Those who travel at least five times a year are more than twice as likely to own Bitcoin (33%) than the general public.

Alternative payment methods

The correlation between frequent travellers and payments services is not only limited to cryptocurrencies. Research shows that frequent travellers also use features such as ‘buy now, pay later’, splitting the cost of travel into smaller payments. 

Findings also suggest that younger companies – currently in their first five years – are more inclined to go beyond fiat currencies and make the move into allowing cryptocurrency payments.

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