The travel industry relies upon different companies passing information between one another. For example, travel agents need to pass customer details on to flight companies and hotels, while the personal belongings of travellers are often passed between companies and tracked too. Blockchain can make accessing and storing important information easier and more reliable, because responsibility for storing it is shared across the whole network.
As our world becomes increasingly globalized with more people traveling abroad, the demand for secure and affordable services within the travel industry will also sharply rise.
- Enhancing Baggage Tracking
As much as the travel sector has advanced in the past years, a few age-old issues still remain. One of those is the worst nightmare of any traveler: a lost luggage. Damaged or lost bags cost the travel sector a massive amount every year, not to tell the traveler complaints as well as the damage to reputations which comes with it. Further, the procedure of tracking it down can be even more difficult than losing it.
That’s where blockchain technology comes in. It could provide a shared, distributed ledger employed by all those within and in between airfields which at some point have control over baggage. The system would permit for a bag, and it’s own information to be logged automatically. Such records could be shared among everybody concerned to enhance accountability, and most vital of all, track down lost luggage.
- Strengthening Loyal Schemes
In the travel sector, you can book any sort of trip without being bombarded by them. Retailers, airlines, and booking websites all have various schemes which are a key part of driving return business and maintaining customers engaged.
One good example of how the technology could enhance this case is the California startup Loyal. The loyalty and rewards platform of the company was designed with smart contract and blockchain technology to lessen fragmentation in the loyalty business. Thus, it will make simple for businesses to collaborate. The outcome is a secure system which offers clients more value from their loyalty schemes.
- Streamlining identification
One of the most thrilling possible uses of blockchain in the travel sector is in the realm of identification. From booking to boarding the airport, you’ll need identification. In the future, the immutable and trustworthy nature of blockchain could change the way travelers are recognized throughout the progression of a journey. Blockchain could provide travelers with more frictionless experiences in the future.
- Secure, Traceable Payments
Perhaps the most important use of blockchain technology within the hotel and travel industry is related to payments. Here, its applications can range from serving as a global ledger, making bank payments more simple and secure, through to allowing travel companies to accept payments using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Examples of Blockchain Technology In Action
In addition to these more general examples of the way blockchain can help to transform the travel industry, there are also some more specific examples of the technology being put to good use already, such as:
In simple terms, LockChain operates as a direct marketplace for hotels and hospitality companies looking to rent out property. The platform covers payment, property management and various other aspects of the booking process. Best of all, because it uses a decentralised system, there are no middlemen and no commission fees.
Bee Token is using blockchain technology to solve problems such as high fees for hosts and guests, and dishonest listings and give power back to hosts and guests. The team has created a decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace called Beenest where hosts make additional income, guests find unique and affordable accommodations, and mediators resolve disputes quickly and easily.
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Users make payments with Bee Tokens through smart contracts to ensure transactions are completely secure and fair. The best part is, since transactions don’t go through any middleman, there are zero commission fees.
Winding Tree is a non-profit company using blockchain technology to enable a fair and competitive travel distribution market. Right now, there’s only a handful of giants that dominate airfare and accommodation bookings. These sites include high fees and surcharges that hurt both travelers and businesses. By removing these intermediaries, Winding Tree seeks to connect airlines, hotels, and even tour guides directly with travelers around the globe.
Built on the Ethereum platform, Winding Tree’s network connects these buyers and sellers via a set of smart contracts and open-source tools without taking any transaction fees along the way.
Finally, TUI has launched its own in-house blockchain project, which it refers to as ‘Bed-Swap’. Using this technology, the company is able to move inventories between different points of sale and flex selling margins, in real-time, based on the level of demand that is present at that time.