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NEO LIVE - Week 1 Featuring Travala.com AMA summary.
Travala.com / $AVA was the first project to participate in the Weekly "NEO LIVE" Event being run by the NEO Global development: https://neonewstoday.com/events/neo-live-telegram-series-to-feature-ecosystem-projects-in-weekly-event/ I have gone through and cleaned up the Telegram chat and formatted the questions to make them more readable. Due to the fast moving chat some questions got mixed up a little but i've done my best to remove spam/ emojis and make it readable. The full archive can be found on the NEO Telegram: @NEO_EN Introduction: Host, NGD :
Our first guest for NEO Live is Matt Luczynski, CEO and co-founder of Travala.com. A seasoned marketing and technology entrepreneur, Matthew is a veteran in the travel industry, having worked on a number of enterprising startups within the space. Compelled by the aim of driving real-world blockchain adoption, he co-founded Travala.com, a travel ecosystem which leverages on the token economy to provide consumers with a fair, trusted, and transparent platform. In addition, Matthew is also the founder of the Wanderlust application, a location-based meet-up travel application designed for users to connect based on their specific interests.
Hi Matt, first question, when is Travala coming to Binance if at all any plans ?
Exchange listings are something as business we aren't able to discuss due to NDA’s we sign. We aim to continue pushing in all areas to make AVA more accessible to all users for usage on the travala.com platform
Should we be expecting 15 suppliers integration by Aug 15th?
We have currently connected 17 suppliers in total through our tech partner. This will give Travala.com in excess of 1.5 mill
Why should I use Travala instead of Orbitz or other popular travel sites?
Price - Our prices are on average 15% cheaper than other travel sites and our mainstream competitors. Our business plan is focused on this as we form a disruptive models targeting consumer adoption.
Room availability - We have a large inventory of hotels and accommodation in 210 different countries which is only going to increase as we roll out future updates.
Loyalty rewards program (SMART) - Earn AVA for every booking you make.
SMART discounts - Hold AVA to access up to 10% discount on our already low cost prices. Save even more on your bookings.
Access with multiple crypto currencies and fiat currencies
Following on from this, Travala SMART program is the first in the travel industry which provides users with a real world value reward.
Hi Matt, when the beta version goes live, travala can expect an Increase of booking numbers I think. Are you considering to hire more people for costumers service before or around that time?
With an increased UX/UI along with more availablity we expect the platform to maintain its growth as we have seen over the past 7 months.
** Due to fast moving chat this question got messed up. The team later commented the following regarding this question:
"Due to increased users and bookings customer service & support is fast becoming a priority so there will be new hires happening in this department."
Is the ava token able to be purchased directly on the Travala website? Or will a third party have to handle this? Is there a fiat gateway plan? Will Nash handle this?
We are waiting to see how the NASH system will work, there are also legal issues around use providing direct purchases of AVA via the platform. All things we are looking into as we develop to make it easier for anyone to join the travala smart program on the platform
First of all congratulations matt for your crowdfunding on crowdcube my question is when we see travala application on both platform means app is more easy and user friendly as comapre to website so any approximately time frame ?
Thanks it was a great moment when we sucessful completed the crowdfund, something i have always wanted to complete. Mobile app development will start in October this year.
Will you list travala at some point at kayak or is this plan cancelled?
we still have open discussions with Kayak and other platforms with similar models. They wont happen right away but are still aims we have
what's your vision for travala by end of 2020 and beyond?
Growth. We want more bookings and to dominate the crypto space for travel bookings. (Which we are already doing). Along side this we will begin pushing into the mainstream market.
Hello Matt! Could you tell about your goals in the future in terms of market share? Do you see having 0.1-1% of Market share of current giants like Booking.com, Hotels.com as a realistic goal?
Our goal is to achieve a 1% market share by 2023. That said its hard to predict at this early stage due to the estimated growth of the total online travel market.
Within the crypto space we are predicting to maintain our dominance.
Along with the August update, will search improvements be also in place, so its easily to locate countries, etc, currently difficult to find all places in the Maldives for example, which we will need for the Travala knees up sometime soon
yes we are constantly tweeking and updating the search improvements on the site. We understand the issue you have mentioned and are making changes for future updates
What other (other than the SMART rewards) ways are there that have been implemented to encourage the usage of AVA on the platform instead of the other many payment options?
Rewards, discounts, Refferals, payments and reviews. other areas will be added as the platform develops
can you elaborate on the Key Opinion Leaders? Is this an affiliate marketing program outside of the $20 invite reward?
Yes that is correct, we have a unique partner program which we have began to roll out. For example bitcoin.com and Litecoin foundation have joined us on this.
Travala does already accept several cryptocurrencies as a mean of payment. Do you plan to add GAS at some point?
We are looking into this as we speak along side our partnership and collaborations with NEO
When do you expect the review giveback program to be put in place and what are the projections on % of people making reviews vs total bookings.
Will be towards the start of Q1 2020. Estimated between 0.5-1% of total booking value. This is subject to change and isnt yet set in stone.
when do you expect beta site to go live?
Beta will be a constantly rolled out version and not a one off update. First update will be in Aug.
context: 1/3 reviews can be considered as fake on TripAdvisor. How will you guys handling reviews on your platform. Can you elaborate more about this topic, because it is very vital problem in Travel industry.
We will be using our booking smart contract to verify that the user has actually stayed at the property before they are able to write the review.
I remember business accounts went live during the last update, but this isnt obvious anywhere on the site, is this something you are handling privately at the moment?
Yes its handled privately
Are there more partnerships planned for Q3 that you can't tell us yet?
Yes, we have a number of confirmed partnerships to be released. As you can tell by our past partnerships with Dash, litecoin & bitcoin.com they will always be top level collaborations.
the commission fee is said to range between 5-10% depending on maturity of the platform. Can you confirm what % the current fee is?
Currently we operate at a 10% fee. While still maintaining a 15% on average discount on our available inventory for users.
Are qualifying crowdcube contributors still receiving t-shirts and goody bag etc at some point?
only if they invested the right amounts to recieve them
when will flight booking will be avalible on travala?
Flights will be added when we are happy with the growth of the hotel bookings. It’s important to not spread yourself to thin, going down to many vertical to soon means that other products dont get the attention they need. We constantly assess how we are performing before pushing on new products and verticals
what’s your favorite part of working at Travala?
I dont work at travala, this isnt work for me. Its a lifestyle. I enjoy it all.
how would a buyout of Travala affect the tokens?
Due to AVA being such a key part in the way travala.com operates it will be a very good thing if a buyout took place. Also when a buyout happens typically the company is bought for the team.
Any plans to have a bug bountry programs as many crypto project have ,?
Along side our secuity and auditing team. We do rely on our awesome community, token holders and share holders to help us out when they see something abnormal.
You already been approached by one of the big OTA’s for an cooperation or maybe for a business level account?
our business development department is constantly pushing forward with our business level accounts
what would be the primary driver to decrease the required 5.000 token amount to become lvl 5 SMART?
Depends, we have no plans to change the program at this stage.
What are the costs to maintain Travala system and how those costs are covered? What are biggest costs?
Staff wages, servers, rent, costs of bookings, users aquisition. We gennerate revenue and our burn rate is reletivly low right now. We have just completed a crowdfund and will continue to do investment rounds as we push more capital into the growth of the platform.
is there any way to have a sneak peak of the new website :grin: ?
how many employees do you expect to have by end of Q3?
No more than 30
Are you satisfied with the development of travala so far?
Yes, our team has over delievered on all areas. Our team is world class, i look forward to continuing to over achieve
if the selected booking date is not available, can the result provide 'next available date'. Or is this already coming?
right now the platform doesnt work like this but something we may add. However it’s important that as a user you are notified clearly that those dates arent avaialble before we push another date to you. You may not noticed and think your booking for the day you selected.
With NEO’s EcoFund investment, what are Travala.com’s new strategic growth targets?
At Travala.com we continue to push our strategy towards global adoption of cryptocurrency usage for hotel and accommodation bookings. The investment falls alongside our recently completed crowdfunding and at the commencement of our series A investment round which will continue to accelerate the growth of the travala.com platform.
can we expect greater marketing in terms of adspend once beta comes online in August, or is the marketing campaign going to increase later in Q3 or Q4?
ad spends will increase at a later stage, we are currently working closely with a team at google as to how we will strategically roll this out.
how much does the crypto market dropping effect your model, and are you well prepared for a long crypto winter should that eventuate and how much do you rely on the crypto prices for stability vs getting revenue elsewhere?
We provide access to our listings with credit/debt cards, paypal and other fiat methods, along with multiple crypto currencies. We dont rely on the crypto market or the price of cryptos to operate.
do you personally believe that we will be listed on kayak in 2019?
It really depends on how quickly we can grow, if we meet our targets then yes i do believe it will happen late 2019/early 2020
What do u think about NEO blockchain
Its improving and i look forward to seeing how 3.0 is rolled out.
Will Libra be accepted as a payement method in the far future ?
If its possible to accept we will accept it.
are you guys attending more events this year?
Yes, well be at consensus Singapore and the litecoin summit (Travala.com is the official accommodation provider for these events). And potentially some others to be confirmed.
Can you share something about the plans to boost the smart memberships ?
SMART is growing monthly from our organic reach, we will continue pushing this to new users than come to travala.com
we’ve seen you guys do great work with BCH, LTC and DASH, has other top 20 coins approached you and showed interest? Will Travala harness the Seraph ID solution
Not unless its more userfriendly than how travala.com already operates
Does Travala.com have any plans in the future to work together with other NEO ecosystem projects? :laughing:
Travala already has a partnership with Nos and we look to further that once our production release of the site is released in
We also will be looking very closely at the Nash Pay feature to allow more crypto payment methods. We are always open to collaborations with other ecosystem projects that we can both benefit.
In addition to financial assistance, in what other ways will NEO’s EcoFund benefit Travala.com and help it reach its goals? Moving forward, in what capacities will NEO and Travala.com work together? How does it differ from your prior relationship?
There are a number of areas; marketing and technical support as well as harnessing the ecoboost partners with liquidity for the AVA token and more accessibility with wallet partners.
Neo intend to support travala.com with marketing & technical support as per the last question. We now have open discussions about how the relationship will develop and we look forward to working more closely with NEO moving forward. We are already working on adding GAS as a native payment on the platform and we look to become the official travel partner for NEO in the near future
Will it be possible one day to buy a smart membership directly with fiat with the nash app like buying a Prime membership on Amazon ?
Is it possible that Travala helps Airbnb to go blockchain?
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