CCBeast Special

Bitcoin becoming primary currency in Travel Industry
Editorial Team

It is a fact that Bitcoin transactions are being increasingly acceptable by the Travel Industry. Many travel companies, such as Daedalus Drones, AirBaltic, CheapAir, and Polish are offering their services for Bitcoin by now. But, another travel company, Peach Aviation Ltd., is planning to accept Bitcoin, pursuing to encourage visitors from overseas and the Japanese market to use new forms of currencies. But what about big players like Expedia?

The story of Bitcoin and Expedia
Expedia is a giant pro-Bitcoin online travel company. It all started in November of 1999, when Microsoft announced the Initial Public Offering for Expedia Online Travel Services, creating the first Microsoft division, which was activated regarding a public company. Now, Expedia is one of the most famous travel agencies.

Dara Khosrowshahi, the ex-CEO of Expedia, the CEO of Uber today, headed Expedia from 2005 until September 2017, remaining as a member of Expedia’s Board of Directors. Khosrowshahi was a Bitcoin leader in Expedia. During his leadership, Expedia started accepting Bitcoin on June 2014. The option was only available for hotel bookings and not flights.
Coinbase processed Bitcoin payments. Customers were paying with Bitcoin were directed to Coinbase’s website, which directly converted all costumer Bitcoin transactions into US dollars with its instant rate. Expedia never collected or held any Bitcoin.

A few days ago, Mark Okerstrom replaced Khosrowshahi in the position of CEO. Okerstrom declared for the Financial Times that the company is planning to speed-up its expansion plans and new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and voice platforms, which are going to play a significant role towards that development (interview with GeekWire). According to him, Expedia’s mission is, “to revolutionize travel through the power of technology.” Such examples are the use of Bitcoin and the collaboration between Uber and Expedia.

GeekWire’s editor, Toby Bishop, asked Okerstorm whether he expected partnerships with Uber. Okerstorm’s answer was hopeful, and informed the audience about an last week’s important meeting in New York. He believed that this cooperation is possible in the future and it is, of course, welcoming.

Expedia may gain market share from Priceline- its principal competitor-, through this collaboration and the use of Bitcoin as a payment option. After all, Travel Industry Expansion could be based on Bitcoin acceptance.