Blockchain in tourism: you need to know this



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Blockchain in tourism: you need to know this
Blockchain in tourism: you need to know this © Dan Kitwood / Staff Getty Images News

Travel agencies, tour operators, hotel companies and airlines can in fact access a sort of archive as the blockchain allows you to keep a record of all the commercial exchanges that have taken place and to proceed with payments even without the need for a third party to carry out the role of mediator.

In this sector, therefore, this system can guarantee important advantages for optimizing processes and speeding up transaction steps. In this regard, some practical examples can be cited. One of these is the possibility of making so-called loyalty programs more user-friendly.

In fact, the use of miles outside flights can be managed by a standard such as the blockchain thanks, for example, to sharing with distribution chains or online commerce. Payment activities in the travel industry can also be automated.

Baggage tracking and the entire logistics chain can be improved. In this regard, the case of the company SITA is significant, which conducted an experiment with British Airways at Heathrow airport for the synchronization of all passenger data on the blockchain.

Another interesting reality is constituted by the Swiss company Winding Tree which has created a platform based on the Ethereum cryptocurrency which ensures a lowering of transaction costs in the sector. The Lufthansa group, Air New Zealand and Nordic Choice Hotels have shared this project as partners.

These are just a few examples that suggest an increasingly near future in which the blockchain will be used for every stage of the journey: documentation, booking, boarding, security up to check-in at the chosen hotel. We are still in the early stages of using this technology in this sector and, as has happened in other innovative contexts, this will give life to actors who will favor product aggregation by opening up a new market even to small businesses.

A travel package, in fact, is made up of several operators belonging to different sectors: transport, hospitality, catering, entertainment. In the private context, as regards the booking service for example, we have already seen the acquisition by, for example, Tripadvisor of the Icelandic platform Bukun.io, while Booking.com has bought Denver's FareHarbor.com.

In both cases, these are platforms created to aggregate offers for the purpose of booking tourist activities. On the other hand, on the hospitality front, the largest German tour operator, TUI, has transferred the entire offer deposit to an internal distributed database, using it to move the availability of beds between the various hospitality points.

This aspect guarantees that such information can never end up offline or be canceled by mistake or following a hacker attack, also ensuring that commercial exchanges are all traceable.