The Pros and Cons of Bitcoin in the Travel Industry

31 Aug 2017     |    Blake Ng

It seems that there is another entire universe that exists online — and now there’s even a digital currency that can be used. Known as Bitcoin, this peer-to-peer digital currency does not require a central bank to complete the transaction, eliminating those pesky fees that are associated with most credit card transactions or international currency conversions.

Bitcoin seems to be a natural fit for the travel industry, in which businesses frequently conduct international business. So should your tour and activity company start accepting the bitcoin? Here are the pros and cons to consider.

Pros of the Bitcoin in the Travel Industry

  • It’s a form of currency that doesn’t require ATM fees or currency conversion fees. Travelers are intrigued by the idea of a form of currency that eliminates the hassle of paying those extra fees. Travel businesses that accept the bitcoin may see an uptick in sales and bookings.
  • It allows consumers to purchase goods and services quickly and easily. Credit card payment processing can take longer for travelers who are in foreign destinations, as the banks try to communicate with one another to approve the payment. Bitcoin eliminates those wait times and provides travelers with more time to enjoy their destination.
  • Many of the top travel agencies are now accepting the bitcoin. This includes Expedia, Cheapair, Webjet Exclusives and Destinia.

Cons of the Bitcoin in the Travel Industry

  • Consumers may still question the security of this form of currency. There is little identifying information required in order to purchase or earn a bitcoin, so users of this currency often do not know who they are buying or selling from. This can be unnerving for travelers who are still learning about this alternative currency option, and who are already concerned about their security while abroad.
  • It is still a volatile payment option. The value of bitcoin is impacted by major world events as well as the financial markets, and there’s a possibility that it is a fad that will quickly fade. Some consumers are wary of the bitcoin, fearing that it could be the next .com boom.
  • Taxes with the bitcoin can be complicated. The Internal Revenue Service does not consider the bitcoin a currency, but rather requires users in the United States to claim their bitcoins as property. All bitcoin income must be claimed on a 1099 tax form, which can make this currency cumbersome to deal with for the average consumer.

Regardless of whether you decide to accept the bitcoin at your tour and activity company, you will want to make sure that you have an online booking system that will accept multiple currency types from around the world. Rezdy is an online booking system that allows tour and activity operators to accept currencies from hundreds of countries around the world, and makes the conversion process easy for everyone involved.

To find out more about how Rezdy can help your business appeal to international travelers, begin your trial today.
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