Once the coronavirus pandemic is over and lockdown restrictions end, there’s one thing that will be a priority for many of us: booking a vacation.
But here’s the problem — many hotel rooms are charged at eye-watering prices, with some travel websites serving as middlemen and adding hefty commissions in the process.
Now, Electroneum has announced that its native digital asset can be used as a payment method on LockTrip, a site that allows globetrotters to discover secret travel deals and save up to 60% on the cost of their holiday.
The crypto payments firm says it is constantly looking for new use cases for ETN, a cryptocurrency that is used by millions of people worldwide. Electroneum already allows ETN owners to top-up their electricity meters with this digital currency, and add credit to smartphones.
Given how LockTrip enables its customers to book more than 2.1 million properties and flights from over 1,000 airlines in 190 countries, the partnership is set to give Electroneum’s community far more choice than what’s offered on other crypto-focused travel sites.
“Electroneum is experiencing real adoption of ETN from other blockchain and crypto projects who have seen the benefits of using our crypto both for its unique instant payment system as well as its very large and engaged community,” CEO Richard Ells told Cointelegraph. “We are growing very fast. After our partnership with LockTrip, ETN is accepted by over two million businesses worldwide.”
The collaboration is also good news for users of AnyTask, Electroneum’s platform for freelancers, who will have a new way to spend their earnings and treat themselves with a much-needed break away from the world of work.
According to Electroneum, using cryptocurrencies to book a holiday can unlock benefits that many of us may not have thought of.
First, there’s the issue of the fees charged by credit and debit card providers. The platform says transacting with ETN is far less expensive than the likes of Visa and Mastercard, meaning vacationers have a bigger budget for cocktails on the beach. Crypto can also help consumers avoid punishing exchange rates when paying for reservations that are denominated in a fiat currency different to their own.
In many cases, these crypto payments can be completed by simply scanning a QR code — and this can be far safer than manually inputting credit and debit card details, too. Some LockTrip users have even claimed that they were able to secure hotel rooms that were listed as sold out elsewhere.
Electroneum says that it is the first crypto startup to directly enter into a partnership with LockTrip. Now, ETN will be offered as a payment method alongside other cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.
To offer a concrete example of how LockTrip compares against fiat-focused brands, the Electroneum team performed some research. They found that using crypto instead of a debit card to reserve 14 nights at an airport hotel would save about $15 — and better still, LockTrip’s quoted price for the accommodation was $52 less than Hotels.com and Skyscanner when paying with crypto and $38 less if paying with debit or credit card.
Too good to be true?
Some may wonder how LockTrip manages to offer such competitive discounts, given the old saying that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But the travel platform is transparent about its approach — saying that it works directly with leading suppliers to secure the best deals and pursues an organic growth approach instead of relying on expensive marketing budgets.
“We don't pressure-sell with warnings like 'only one room left' or present our members' special deals that are not special. We believe that respect starts with honesty,” LockTrip said.
The company also allows customers and property owners to connect with each other directly. Given how popular websites such as Airbnb and Booking.com can charge accommodation providers commission of up to 30%, its approach can deliver savings to travelers while simultaneously delivering healthier profit margins for businesses.
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