Recap with Juan Otero Co-Founder @Travala.com with Ajoobz

It was an educative session at the https://t.me/eljaboomC where most participants’ questions were responded to. The AMA started at exactly 3 pm GMT and was moderated by Eljaboom and Jee.

Our very special guest who was prompt and timely with is delivery. Opening statement:

Juan Otero,

Hello everyone, my name is Juan Otero and I’m Co-Founder & CSO at Travala.com. A pleasure to be here

Previously, I worked at some of the largest tech companies in the world such as Oracle and Booking.com and I also founded Europe’s leading online restaurant reservation platform, which was acquired by The Michelin Group in France.

My background in tech has also led to my involvement as an Advisor in several leading start-ups and government organizations such as the European Institute of Innovation & Technology and the European Commission in Brussels. At Travala.com I’m currently responsible for managing the long-term strategy.

Founded in 2017, Travala.com is the leading cryptocurrency-friendly hotel and accommodation booking service with 2,000,000+ properties in 230 countries. We are a champion of cryptocurrency adoption, accepting over 25 leading cryptocurrencies in addition to traditional payment methods. The Travala.com value proposition is bolstered by AVA. As the native cryptocurrency of the platform, AVA can be used for payments, receiving and redeeming loyalty rewards, discounts, and staking, among several other use cases which you can find here https://whitepaper.travala.com/#AVA

Jee| muted the telegram chat for tweeter questions to be responded to.

“Question 1 by @Sidonpee

1.      What is Travala’s roadmap for this year 2020? and Can you tell us your recent partnership deals and how big are they? “

Juan Otero: We want to continue to forge ahead with bridging the gap between the traditional booking experience and next-generation decentralized booking experiences.

Planned technology additions will expand our competitive edge as we use them to increase customer satisfaction along with revenue, the proven utility of our native token AVA and profit margins.

You can find more details here https://whitepaper.travala.com/#roadmap

Some of the things our team and the community are most excited about including the mobile application, addition of flight and rental car bookings plus some R&D of our decentralized business models. We’ve made some major partnership announcements in the past months. From a strategic partnership with Booking.com and other hotel suppliers to leading cryptocurrencies like Tether, Huobi, Gemini, NEM, Komodo and more. We’ve also secured partnerships that have made Travala.com the official travel partner of blockchain-focused conferences like the Digital Asset Summit. We look forward to welcoming new partners to the Travala.com ecosystem in 2020. All the details on the previous can be found on our blog; https://blog.travala.com/

“Question 2 by: @toanphamhd

a. What have you learned from early versions of the product or service?

b. What are some of the major roadblocks along the way?

c. In the eyes of investors, the factor proving whether a project has long-term sustainable development and practicality is the specific application by business users or individuals, so who has really used the Travala solution yet?”

Juan Otero,

a. Always get customer feedback and never stop trying to make improvements. Never be afraid to try new things. Also learning how to react when things don’t go well such as when bugs are found is important.

b. Wanting to make improvements at speed, but having to allocate finite resources to select product improvements.

c. Thousands of people have already booked accommodation through Travala.com. Our customers include both individuals and businesses. They are most interested in our competitive pricing, number of booking options, range of payment options and liquid rewards program.

“Question 3 by: @ammarfares

a. will AVA has its own blockchain in the near future?

b. will AVA has its own exchange to make more contact between travelling and blockchain? “

Juan Otero,  

a. We don’t currently have plans to build our own blockchain in the near future. Our priorities are to continue to improve the Travala.com booking experience and in the mid-term implement different decentralized business model concepts using existing blockchain protocols that we mention in our whitepaper; https://whitepaper.travala.com/#business

b. We don’t currently have any plans to launch our own exchange. We have several partner exchanges that make a market in AVA.

“Question 4 by @yecrypto

How can we get $AVA?

Juan Otero, AVA can be purchased on our partner exchanges which include Binance DEX, Kucoin, HitBTC, Coinall, and Bitmart. Each exchange has different trading pairs. We look forward to having AVA listed on other major exchanges soon.

“Question 5 by: @Kambeing

a. Currently, many projects are facing the problem: lack of real users and use cases; Does TRAVALA have any problems?

b. What plans does the group have to attract TRAVALA users?

c. What is the use case of TRAVALA TOKEN ?

d. What do you think about the number of Indian user/community contributions to TRAVALA ?

e. What influence do we have in the crypto industry?”

Juan Otero,

a. We have been fortunate to already have thousands of people book accommodation through Travala.com. In addition, our native platform cryptocurrency, AVA, has proven utility and ample community support. That said, every business faces challenges including us. Typical challenges we come across include attracting the right talent, allocating resources to the best causes, coordinating marketing efforts and so forth.

b. Through a combination of efforts including more partnership development, paid advertising strategies, referral programs, content marketing, improved token incentives, and overall better booking experience. We will continue to implement new use cases and increase AVA’s proven utility which we hope will then have a significant impact on our market cap.

c. AVA can be used for payments, receiving and redeeming loyalty rewards, refunds, and as a store of value, among several other use cases. For more detail on this please see our whitepaper https://whitepaper.travala.com/#AVA

d. India is an important market for us that we want to continue to develop. We encourage members from India and beyond to join the conversation on Telegram, Twitter and our other social channels.

e. A growing influence. 2019 was a great year for us. The Travala.com brand is becoming a household name in the crypto industry. All of our key growth metrics would suggest this.

Jee unmute the chat for telegram participants to fire their questions!!!

Azhar Saban,

Q. The trading volume for the AVA token is atm very low, any plans to engage in trading competitions or other activities? any new exchanges planned?

Juan Otero

We have done a couple of trading competitions on KuCoin in the past however we’re focusing on driving real organic volumes and there has been interest from several leading exchanges to list AVA, which we hope will increase the current trading volumes.

Kunle,

Recently, you announced a partnership with NEM officials. What is this partnership? and how will it impact Travala and its Community?

Juan Otero

Here is all the info: https://blog.travala.com/travala-com-partners-with-nem-to-offer-xem-as-payment-option-for-over-2-million-hotels-globally/

Azhar Saban,

Q. I use Travala as often I can, but find it difficult to find the same amount of accommodations from Travala even if there is a collaboration. Where does this problem originate from?

Juan Otero

We’re still working on completing the full integration with Booking as they have over 2.5m properties. It’s a big job but we’ll get there soon with over 80% of their properties already available on Travala.com.

John♥

Are there any major updates about listing AVA on big exchanges soon?

Juan Otero,

We hope AVA will be listed in several major exchanges soon

Bisola,

The importance of community members in any project for it to attain it Mission and Vision cannot be overemphasized. Can you briefly tell us how much you value your community members? How proactive are you in addressing concerns and queries that may be generated among your community members? and what plans are you putting in place to ensure that continuous and endless support is being given to the community?

Juan Otero,

Our community is everything to us and we pride ourselves on offering constant communication and transparent information. The success of Travala.com has been directly linked to our community and we will continue to support every single member to the best of our abilities.

Azhar Saban,

Q. “Migrated from NEO to Binance Chain” how did this move come to be? and how happy are you currently on the Binance chain?

Juan Otero,

The main reasons for the migration are that we wanted to improve the token economics of our native token (AVA) while offering faster processing times, better performance and ease of on-chain use of AVA within the platform. You can find all the info here: https://blog.travala.com/travala-com-will-move-to-binance-chain-and-initiate-a-buyback-and-burn-program-for-ava/

Eljaboom,

Back to questions from twitter and we will open second round for live questions

“Question 6 by @sagraha

A. Can you please explain more about the innovative tokenized incentive model at

@travalacom? 

B. And how you manage the prices which are 15% cheaper on average compared to other booking sites Based on Crypto pricing? Since crypto prices up and down regularly.

Juan Otero

a.  AVA can be used for payments, receiving and redeeming loyalty rewards, refunds, and as a store of value, among several other use cases. For more detail on this please see our whitepaper https://whitepaper.travala.com/#AVA.

Our most impressive use case and for those not familiar with our Smart Program, it is based on a tiered rewards system. The higher the Smart level the greater your rewards will be. For example, in the highest reward bracket Smart Level 5 (5000 AVA), users receive a 5% discount on Smart listed hotel and accommodation prices, a 5% loyalty reward following completion of your stay, and also Smart bonus rewards of 1.5% per month of your locked amount of AVA

This gives our Smart members up to 10% Savings on Hotel and Accommodation Bookings and up to 18% Per Annum Bonuses on your AVA with our Smart Bonus Rewards. You can read more about it here: https://blog.travala.com/smart-discounts-loyalty-and-bonus-rewards/

b. With every wholesale supplier, there are retail rates and business rates that come in the form of B2C and B2B. B2C rates can be shown and sold publicly and B2B rates must be behind a password login. The innovation from Travala.com is that we will incorporate both into the same platform which is only done by a handful of other OTAs.

When you are not logged in you will see the publicly available B2C prices along with the additional % you could save by logging in. Once you login the feed switches to the B2B prices for the same search. As long as our net prices are cheaper than their retail prices we can undercut them maintaining our on average 15% cheaper when discounts and all incentives are taken into account.

This has nothing to do with crypto pricing as to mitigate the risk of crypto volatility once payment has taken in crypto our system converts automatically to fiat to pay our suppliers.

“Question 7 by: @malachi456

A. No one achieves anything of value on its, please can you share about the partnerships that will drive you to success

B. We are still way off from Mainstream Adoption, what is Travala doing to drive global adoption.”

Juan Otero

a) Partnerships have been and will continue to be critical for both our success and mainstream adoption. We have all different types of partners that together make a robust ecosystem. Our travel partners provide us access to over 2m bookable properties around the globe. Through our blockchain partners, we can offer a wide range of crypto payment options and give their communities an opportunity to book travel using crypto.

b) Our event partners bring together individuals and communities under one roof who are passionate about the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. We also have fiat and cryptocurrency payment partners who provide us an essential infrastructure that allows us to accept a range of payment methods and focus on core business activities. Our exchange and wallet partners provide us and our users the means to exchange and store value. Lastly, our crypto rewards program will allow us to bring non-crypto people into the world of crypto.

“Question 8 by @Berro01

a. What are the advantages of booking on Travala instead of regular booking sites?

b. What are the future plans of Travala? Only hotel bookings or there will be more plans? “

Juan Otero,

a. The advantages of booking on Travala.com are as follows.

(1) Freedom of choice; Travala.com has over 2m properties around the globe; hotels, villas, apartments, hostels and more. This is one of the world’s largest network of accommodation options. We also have over 20 cryptocurrency and fiat payment options.

(2) Liquid loyalty rewards; customers earn rewards in our native cryptocurrency AVA. AVA can be used for payments, receiving and redeeming loyalty rewards, refunds, and as a store of value, among several other use cases.

(3) Full transparency; customers can access truly transparent pricing – no hidden fees at checkout, ever.

(4) Pricing; we are up to 40% less expensive than major online travel agencies in some cases however with all things taken into account we are on average 15% cheaper. 

b. We plan to add more travel verticals in the future. To start, we will add flight and rental car bookings. In the future, we plan to add even more verticals so we become a one-stop destination for everything travel related.

“Question 9 by @dani_unss

Is there any public data / financial results of Travala? “

Juan Otero,

Yes, we release our key metrics in a regular monthly report. Past reports can be found here; https://blog.travala.com/category/reports/

“Question 10 by @shumakov21

1 -How are you going to differentiate yourself from the competition?

(http://booking.com , http://trivago.com,http://kayak.com ,trapadvior etc..) why travala , what is an incentive from use travala?

2-In which sector will you focus on marketing? “

Juan Otero,

a. Mainly by offering more choice, better rewards, more transparency, and cheaper prices.

b. We plan to focus on both the crypto and non-crypto space.

“Question 11 by: @robin1995

how easy would it be to implement the AVA token into other booking platforms like Booking.com and Expedia and do you see this indeed evolve in this way? There is obviously an advantage of this way of reward and loyalty programs then the existing once.”

Juan Otero,

Very easy. As we continue to grow the Travala.com & AVA ecosystem we will also seek different use cases for AVA outside of the Travala.com platform, these might include payment processors and other travel booking platforms that could be interested in AVA’s token economic model and functionality for example.

“Question 12 by: @Airdropsve

how do you manage to reimburse the money in cryptocurrencies? Do you reimburse the amount of crypto that the user canceled or in case of a change in the price of the cryptocurrency reimburse the amount of crypto equivalent to the price in USD?”

Juan Otero,

In the travel and tourism industry, free cancellation or refundable bookings are standard. This is easy to manage with traditional online payment options like credit cards. In the cryptocurrency environment, however, this is not as simple because transactions cannot be reversed.

We have come up with an innovative solution to the cryptocurrency refund problem. Travala.com will use a BEP2 stable coin as the payout currency for all refundable bookings.

If a traveler pays for their refundable booking with any cryptocurrency and they decide to cancel, they will be refunded the equivalent value of their booking in the stable coin directly to their Travala.com in-built platform wallet.

“Question 13 by @jmodog

A. Is there an optimal number of SMART members?

B. Would SMART tier levels be changed as $ava token price moves through $1/$10 etc or would it just be seen as an exclusive group or available to corporate accounts”

Juan Otero,

a. Around 3000-4000 would be an ideal number for what we are trying to achieve

b. There are no plans to reduce the amount especially with the future benefits of Smart that we will apply to new verticals and with the new Smart bonus structure.

“Question 14 by @ahmed9892231

The Leading Crypto-Friendly Hotel Booking Platform

What about countries that do not participate in blockchain and crypto associations? Are there other ways to pay?”

Juan Otero,

We have many payment options including credit card and debit cards along with PayPal and of course cryptocurrencies. You can see the full list here https://travala.com/payment-options

“Question 15 by: @Shadicrypto

Why there is only few crypto projects are listed.

How many projects are you expecting to list in 2020?”

Juan Otero,

We currently have 25 crypto payment options listed. We expect to add a few more in 2020.

Question 16  by @ma6376

Will the list of hotels in other Arab countries be added to the 2 million hotels already in existence?

Juan Otero,

We are already worldwide with over 2 million hotel and accommodation listings, including in Arab countries

Conclusion

At the end of the highly educative session,” jmodog” a happy participant, wished all ama’s were held in this way, noting that the organization was second to none and promised to be back for future ones.

Ajoobz Team thanked the guest as the AMA was brought to an end.