If there’s one thing the wealthy love most, it’s luxury travel, a chance to escape the stresses and strains of today’s hectic pace of life and feel utterly spoiled while doing so. Taking a five-star break is, for many, one of the highlights of the year – and for those who have made their money in cryptocurrency investment, things could be about to get even better.
Over recent years, we’ve seen a burgeoning trend within the wiser luxury market for accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method – and now the high-end travel industry is beginning to follow suit. Luxury travel concierge Arburton is believed to be one of the first of its kind to use a payment technology which allows clients to pay for their yacht charters, private jets, holidays, and other vacation experiences with cryptocurrency.
The London-based business, founded by Aruna Shah, has a client base around the globe and more than 30 years of experience in the bespoke concierge and luxury sector, specialising in tailored lifestyle services, luxury travel, itinerary management, hospitality, and high-end goods.
As many other companies in the travel sector have, Arburton has been badly affected by the travel restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the past months in lockdown have enabled Arburton to prepare for a move with the times once travel is expected to return to the UK this summer.
According to Shah, the move follows a simple philosophy: “We believe that travel is the ultimate freedom of life, which is why it is fitting that our customers should have a larger choice of payment methods,” he said.
“We’ve been focusing on giving our clients the VIP treatment from day one, so it makes sense to move with the times and start to accept cryptocurrencies, which will allow us to access an entirely new client base also.”
Cryptocurrency has been making waves in the investment world for several years now, with Bitcoin making many millennials overnight millionaires back in 2019 – and its popularity has continued to surge since then. Just last month, Bitcoin reached a value of over $60,000 per coin, increasing ninefold year-on-year. It’s no surprise that big companies are coming to embrace crypto, and it’s only going to become more important for wealthy clientele to be given the option if brands and companies wish to retain their business long-term.
Arburton is believed to be one of the first travel companies in the UK to use the Utrust payment technology, which allows clients to pay for their holidays with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Previously, these types of technologies came with high costs for businesses seeking to convert crypto into cash, but the Utrust technology instantly converts cryptocurrency into money for businesses. Utrust CEO Sanja Kon said: “20 years ago, it was very weird for anyone to think they would pay with credit cards online. Technology moves fast.”
With Arburton paving the way for widespread change and advancements in the luxury travel field, paying with cryptocurrency could soon become a wider norm – with this exciting move heralding the beginning of a new era when it comes to our favourite pastime.