China has recovered from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic
Travala.com, the online travel agency backed by the crypto exchange Binance, has unveiled its Chinese language website. The agency also put together a regional customer support team and started marketing to travelers located in the country last Thursday, September 17th.
The Chief Executive Officer, Juan Otero, revealed that the company hopes to make the most out of the opportunity to serve domestic travelers and hotel guests in one of the world’s only stabilised travel economies.
Otero explained that other strong markets, such as Europe and the US, may take an additional three to four months to recover, “whereas in China, the recovery is happening now and very fast.”
China has several strong indications that it is rising beyond the pandemic. Domestic flight bookings have returned to its levels before the onset of the coronavirus and hotels in Macau are already getting bookings for the upcoming Golden Week holiday.
Otero described China as having “one of the largest domestic travel markets in the world, together with the US and one of the fastest growing as well.” To adapt to the local audience, Travala.com will also begin accepting the payments through the Chinese payment service giant WeChat pay. It will be an addition to its current lineup of cryptocurrencies.
Recently, Travala.com announced that it would start using the Binance Chain to decentralise all of its services. According to Otero, users will be able to deal directly with property owners in the future, which highlights the disintermediation potential of blockchain.
“Under this decentralized model, accommodation seekers will be able to book stays without the need for an intermediary. Said another way, individuals seeking to rent an apartment, bedroom, or hotel room will be able to deal directly with property owners.” he explained.
Travala.com’s first priority is to launch the decentralised accommodation booking system. After this is complete, the company plans to start developing a decentralised review service. Any reviews that are submitted will be stored on the blockchain to make sure that they cannot be removed or altered after they have been submitted.
Otero added that as an extra precautionary measure against fake reviews, Travel.com will only allow reviews from users that have gone to a given location by booking on the platform. It will also be using tokenized incentives. He also conceded that parts of the company may not be allowed to transfer onto the blockchain.
“Realistically we will have to phase out what aspects of the [firm] are on-chain. As we are closer to the implementation of certain features we will review the trade-offs of being on-chain versus off-chain.”