This post was most recently updated on October 28th, 2020
While the travel industry has taken a massive knock as a result of the global pandemic, as borders reopen, the industry is slowly seeing growth once more. With national and international travel permitted in some countries across the globe, it’s likely that individuals travelling for business and leisure will boom – seeing an explosion in the industry after the necessary closures. Like most industries, travel companies and the hospitality industries have had to look for innovative solutions to combat the loss of the closures.
As a result of the pandemic, and a new-found need to prioritise hygiene, countries have started to actively encourage cashless systems. With cash running the risk of spreading disease through the changing of hands, countries are looking to digital means to combat this. While some are encouraging the use of cards, others are opting towards digital currencies, such as central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and cryptocurrencies. Experts predict that Bitcoin adoption will be accelerated owing to the pandemic and that it might become the new currency of choice for travellers to pay for expenses across the globe.
How can cryptocurrency be used for international travel?
As borders open up, it is possible that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will be used by travellers who want to avoid cash and want to protect themselves from the heavy fees associated with credit cards. Bitcoin provides a neat, safe alternative to carrying cash abroad, as a global currency.
Cryptocurrency as a payment method
Some countries and travel companies accept Bitcoin and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies as methods of payment. For travellers abroad, this alleviates currency conversion costs and helps protect funds against concerns related to ATM fees, or fraudulent schemes. With Bitcoin ATMs, there is also the possibility of exchanging funds for products or services in a fiat currency if needs be without the admin of exchanging cash for a different currency.
Sending money abroad
Remittance, or sending money internationally, is not limited to sending funds to family and friends in other countries. Bitcoin offers the ability to transact funds internationally easily, which allows travellers the opportunity to settle bills anywhere in the world. With cryptocurrency, sending money or paying for services and products across the globe is not cost-effective in terms of international fees, but it is also an instant process without the concerns of bank delays.
Blockchain for international supply chains and travel agencies
Supply chains have battled with the pandemic. From national lockdowns earlier this year, there is a major backlog in getting materials and products across the world. With the delay, there is not only massive financial ramifications, but international companies are looking at an administrative nightmare. Blockchain technology offers a neat solution to tracking issues.
In addition to supply chains, travel agencies could benefit making use of blockchain technology. Having transparency and permanently logged data through blockchain technology, the issues of overbookings and admin concerns for travellers are alleviated.
Furthermore, cryptocurrency payments are irreversible, which radically reduces the possibility of fraudulent bookings and payment problems. Travel agencies accepting Bitcoin as a payment profile can guarantee that once a payment has been accepted, the traveller cannot reverse the payment. This also means that travellers can rest assured knowing payments are going to go through immediately, without having to wait days for confirmation on orders or bookings.
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