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Following a brief setback to the initial launch date due to minor issues, Travala has officially released its Marketplace Alpha V2 on the 21st of July. Travala is a travel booking marketplace running as a decentralized application on NEO, leveraging blockchain technology to connect consumers directly with vendors.

Platform Update

The V2 Alpha update has seen the release of a wealth of new features aimed at providing an improved user experience. Bookings can now be performed instantly using the native AVA NEP-5 token, with support for FIAT being planned as a future update. Any FIAT payments will be converted to AVA to be locked into a smart contract for the duration of a stay, with the deposit being released upon check-out. The prices on the website are live, based on check-in/check-out dates and duration of stay. Interested parties should be aware that there is no current support for cancellations or amendments to bookings.

The site’s user interface has also been considerably updated. The search functions have been expanded with real time availability, pricing, and search filters that will aid travellers in finding their ideal location to stay. Property information has also been overhauled with image sliders, room specifications and extensive facility information which should appeal to those with specific needs.

New Hotel Listings

In addition to the platform updates, Travala has added thousands of new hotels that can be instantly booked, though listings are currently exclusive to Vietnam. Amongst these listings, several leading hotel brands can be found, including:

  • Marriott Hotels & Resorts
  • Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Mercure Hotels
  • Novotel Hotels & Resorts
  • Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

Becoming Competitive

Travala’s goal of disrupting the travel industry means that it intends to compete directly with giants such as Booking.com and AirBnB, whose commission and fee-based business models typically result in higher prices for travellers. Travala aims to reduce these costs by removing fees and commissions, instead generating revenue through sponsored listings.

The Marketplace Alpha V.2 is a definite step forward in terms of platform usability. A full list of improvements can be found in the Medium post here. According to the Travala roadmap, progress in Q3 2018 will focus on the addition of property listings in Thailand, further strategic partnerships, and R&D for various areas of the platform. The complete roadmap can be found here.

For more information about Travala, visit the links below.