Bitcoin is continuing its conquest into the tourism sphere. GuestLeader booking engine was launched this week after RevPar Guru partnered with Bitpay, allowing travelers to book their hotel reservations with bitcoin. GuestLeader has emerged as the world’s first bitcoin-compatible hotel booking engine.
Travelers using GuestLeader
search engine will find a vast selection of hotels – both small and large, independent or international chains – that they can book using bitcoin. This option is giving at the checkout portion of the transaction.
After the guest has selected Bitcoin as their method of payment, Bitpay completes the transaction, receives the bitcoins, and alerts the hotel that a reservation has been made and the payment has been received.
After Bitpay converts the payment into cash, the hotel will receive the payment after one business day in the hotel’s currency of choice. Currently 10 currencies are accepted.
The GuestLeader booking engine is run by RevPaAR Guru
, who are "the only revenue management solution that automatically optimizes and updates hotel rates across all major consumer travel websites, based on all market variables, in real time, while providing a strategic room inventory control… In short, [we] help hotels to increase their occupancy and their revenues.”
RevPAR Guru highlights benefits for both the hotel and the traveler when using Bitcoin payments. For one, Bitcoin transaction fees are usually below 1% of the entire fee, while credit card companies charge 3 – 5%. Furthermore, many banks hold transactions up to 10 business days before they are deposited, while Bitcoin completes the transaction within the hour.
For hotels, Bitcoin does not allow charge-backs, where a customer cancels a transaction if they were dissatisfied with their stay.
RevPAR Guru sees no end in sight for Bitcoin’s growth in the hotel industry. The site highlights how “in recent years, some consumers are trending away from banks because of the issues many experienced during our recent recession. Bitcoin is beginning to give banks a run for their money…literally.”
In similar news, BTCTrip
has announced its plans to expand into the hotel business itself. BTCTrip currently allows travelers to book international flights and pay via bitcoin. BTCTrip announced this week its intentions to bring forth bitcoin bookings in over 150,000 hotels around the world.
BTCTrip also plans to work with the hotels who open their own wallets in creating their own digital exchange. This idea would be beneficial to travelers who want to exchange bitcoins for local currency or vice versa when they arrive and leave their destination.
BTCTrip plans to create a decentralized reservation system for hotels that will allow people to make reservations directly from hotels from places like blockchain.info. BTCTrip will carry out the transactions for hotels that do not have a digital wallet and will even assist hotels in setting up their own wallets.
Just this week, CheapAir announced its acceptance of Bitcoin to book flights, hotels, and Amtrak
train tickets. Last month, Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort in Canada launched their Resort Municipality
project, which allows visitors to the resort to book travel plans and accommodations via Bitcoin. Likewise, many hotels around the world are warming up to Bitcoin in general. Just ask the Bitcoin Couple
who travelled and survived on bitcoin for over 100 days last year.