More travelers in the future will be able to pay for their holidays with cryptocurrency, according to futurist Rohit Talwar at World Travel Market London.
He also urged travel companies to consider developing experiences in the metaverse to cater for younger people and new audiences. Talwar, Chief Executive of Fast Future, told delegates: “Accept crypto to target growth segments – 350 million people hold crypto now.” He highlighted pioneers in the travel sector who are making use of cryptocurrency opportunities, such as Expedia, the Dolder Grand Zurich hotel, air Baltic, Brisbane Airport and the city of Miami – which is investing in its infrastructure thanks to developing its own cryptocurrency. Commenting on the metaverse opportunities, he said: “It is a way to reach people we cannot otherwise serve.” He told delegates that 78 million people attended a two-day Ariane Grande concert last year in Fortnite, describing it as “like a digital version of Disneyland”. “There is a whole generation growing up as gamers in those worlds, buying and selling in the metaverse,” he said. Early adopters in the metaverse include Istanbul airport, Helsinki and Seoul, he added.
Talwar also moderated a panel of experts talking about the future of travel, who highlighted sustainability and diversity as key trends for the 2020s and beyond. Fahd Hamidaddin, Chief Executive at the Saudi Tourism Authority, said climate change has been “factored into” the destination’s 2030 vision.