It's perhaps unsurprising therefore that some of the most innovative hotel groups are pioneering the use of cryptocurrencies. One such is the Pavilions Hotels & Resorts, a chain of high-end rooms and residences that span Europe and Asia. Since 2021, the company has accepted payment in over 40 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, across its global locations – a move which made it the first hotel group worldwide to introduce cryptocurrency into its booking network.
On the cusp of a tipping point
This is a big deal. It's yet another sign that cryptocurrency is making a move from the sidelines of corporate finance and towards the mainstream. Given the customer-centric nature of the business, hotel groups like the Pavilions Hotels & Resorts act as a bellwether for technology adoption. They know what their customers want, and they know they can differentiate and add value by providing it. If the Pavilions Hotels & Resorts realises that the time has come to accept cryptocurrencies, you can bet there's a groundswell of demand underpinning that decision. Expect more hotel businesses to follow suit soon.
The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts has made the move to crypto using BVNK's banking and payments platform, which allows companies to securely accept payments from customers in either crypto or fiat through a simple shared API. For The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts' guests, the experience is as easy as emailing the booking centre to reserve a room. By return of mail, the guest then receives a link that enables them to pay using either a QR code or virtual wallet. This process is due to be streamlined further still, when the hotel group adds a booking feature to its website.
The next phase of digital transformation
The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts realises something important about cryptocurrency: it is part and parcel of the wider digital transformation of the hotel, hospitality, and travel industries. By providing the opportunity for customers to pay on the cryptocurrency of their choice, the hotel chain is adopting a customer-first model – one where operational decisions are made on the basis of what is most convenient for the guest. It is this sort of personalised, customer-first service that has proved so disruptive in ecommerce (think Amazon) and reset peoples' expectations of how companies should behave.
In January, the CEO of Airbnb asked Twitter users what they think the company should launch in 2022. The reply was overwhelmingly "cryptocurrency payments." There is no doubt: people increasingly demand the security and flexibility offered by cryptocurrency payments when holidaying. Companies like The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts have got ahead of this trend and integrated it early as part of their high-end customer proposition. They will not be the last.
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