Bitcoin moves into hotel industry

The continued influence of Bitcoin has been highlighted by Vancouver-based Sandman Hotel Group’s decision to start accepting the digital currency as a form of payment for room reservations. In a move that makes them the first Canadian hospitality business to take the decision to Bitcoin to its methods of payment, introducing the acceptance of the digital currency across its 44 hotels throughout the country.

At the moment just restricted to booking room reservations, Sandman’s decision to accept Bitcoin is another step in the right direction for the digital currency in a year that has seen them take huge strides to becoming a more established form of payment. Salim Kassam, Vice President of Marketing for Sandman Hotel Group, made it clear the company were keen to incorporate the world’s fastest emerging currency technology into their business.

“Our hotels had a number of enquiries regarding payment through alternative payments including bitcoin. As a customer-focused company with an eye on technology, we decided to incorporate this emerging technology as a payment option,” Kassem said.

“We feel that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies may be here to stay. We can tell you without question that more and more of our customers are seeking to pay with this currency, and our job as hoteliers is to be accommodating to the changing needs and requests of our guests.”

In a bid to avoid any of the potential risks that come about with price volatility, Sandman has taken the decision to instantly convert all Bitcoin payments over to Canadian dollars. And it’s working alongside Coinbase, one of the internet’s leading providers of Bitcoin wallets and payment services, which has allowed Sandman to now take bookings accepting Bitcoin as a payment option.

Although Sandman now appears to be the first Canadian hotel chain to accept Bitcoin, the hospitality industry has slowly begun to come around the idea of digital currency. Expedia recently announced that it plans to accept Bitcoin for hotel reservations, admitting the digital currency would now be integrated into the payment options alongside credit/debit cards and PayPal.

It’s been a very productive 12 months for Bitcoin. As well as making waves in a number of traditional industries, Bitcoin has also become a bigger player in the world of online gambling. The likes of digital currency casinos such as Betcoin have wasted little time in establishing themselves as viable alternatives to the popular gaming sites that use normal currency, attracting gambling fans with their immediate pay-outs and super secure transfers.