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Despegar Leads the Way

by Natalie Christie

Despegar, one of the leading travel agencies in Latin America, has partnered with Binance Pay and Inswitch to enable customers to pay for tour packages in cryptocurrencies. Starting in Argentina, customers will be able to pay for hotel accommodation, flights, car rentals, and cruise trips in more than 70 cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP). Despegar’s General Manager for Argentina and Uruguay, Paula Cristi, said that the offering will allow Argentines to “approach this universe in a friendly way” and that the firm is proud to “continue adding new alternatives and payment facilities”. Binance Director for Latam Southern Cone, Maximiliano Hinz, believes that the sector is still in its early days and that there is “a lot of room to grow” in terms of adoption. Inswitch, a global financial technology company responsible for converting digital currencies to fiat, is also part of the partnership, with CEO Ronald Alvarenga saying that they are “happy about this new alliance” and that it fulfills their commitment to “democratize the payment industry”.

Cryptocurrencies have also been adopted by a number of well-known global hotel chains, such as Pavilions Hotels & Resorts, Chedi Andermatt, Novotel Bahrain Al Dana Resort, W Dubai – The Palm, and Palazzo Versace Dubai. Marriott International, the largest hotel chain by the number of available rooms, has also dived into crypto’s ecosystem, though it is among the numerous FTX creditors.

The partnership between Despegar and Binance Pay is an important step in promoting digital assets across broad society, and could be the start of a new trend in the travel industry. It is likely that other countries in Latin America will follow suit, allowing customers to pay for their trips in cryptocurrencies. This could be a major breakthrough for the industry, as it could open up a whole new world of possibilities for travelers.

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