The travel industry is unique in that it has many different parts, such as transportation, lodging, food and drink, and entertainment. A huge industry, whose total earnings are expected to reach $992.10 billion by 2026, is bound to have some inertia.
It takes time for new ways of traveling to become common, and it’s not easy to give up old habits. Statista said that in 2022, only 34% of US consumers booked their hotels online.
At the same time, the overall demand for travel is coming back, and sometimes it’s even higher than it was before the pandemic. Staff shortages caused by layoffs, on the other hand, slow the recovery down a lot. Some of the problems in the sector include flight cancellations, longer lines at security checks, and lost luggage.
This is where the technology of blockchain comes in. It can’t replace pilots or other skilled workers, but it can help customers get service faster by speeding up the booking, identifying, paying, and other processes.
Stay tuned, and we’ll tell you all about the benefits of using blockchain technology in travel projects.
How can Blockchain Technology Help the Travel Industry Move with the Times?
Whether you’re an online travel agency (OTA) or the owner of a small hotel, blockchain technology can help you sell your goods and services by turning them into tokens.
To put it simply, to tokenize an asset is to create a digital version of it on the blockchain. The token guarantees ownership rights for a corresponding asset.
A utility NFT could represent a plane ticket or a hotel room for a specified period of time. Or give its owner access to extra services, such as a bottle of wine, a massage, or a bike tour.
This way of doing business is good for both the seller and the buyer. You can sell your goods and services through an easy-to-use digital platform, and your customers can pay for them quickly and easily with cryptocurrency.
Traditional payment methods don’t work well in the travel business, where money often changes hands many times to make a single sale. IBM’s research shows that the average cost of moving money through transportation systems is a shocking 16%. Profits are cut down by bank transfer fees, credit card fees, and currency exchange rates.
When you use blockchain to make payments, financial institutions are no longer needed as middlemen. This saves you money. And guess what? You can forget about complicated verification steps and save a lot of time. The technology also makes it easy for travel companies of any size to accept payments from people in other countries.
What’s more, all blockchain transactions are completely safe. In a distributed system, data is stored in a number of different places, and smart contracts make sure that payments are processed only if certain criteria are met.
Access to Shared Information
Consider a website like Booking.com, which has millions of hotel listings and gigabytes of data spread out across thousands of servers. When information like prices, photos, or terms is changed, it takes time for the changes to reach every server.
Now, if you made your own blockchain, any changes you made would show up immediately on the whole decentralised ledger. The ledger would keep track of every change in order, and these records couldn’t be changed.
So, if you just fixed up your house and uploaded photos of it, everyone on the blockchain network would know about it right away. With smart contracts, it’s easy to set up what users can see and how much access they have.
More Privacy for Customers
Don’t you get sick of giving your personal information to websites every time you book a trip? It doesn’t have to be done with blockchain. When you sign in with your crypto wallet, the blockchain already has all the information it needs, so you won’t have to fill out any forms.
Using blockchain for travel opens the door to a more secure and clear way to prove who you are. We’ll talk more about this in the future.
Convenience and a Host of New Services
Service providers and customers will be more likely to trust each other if transactions are quick, easy, and safe. Using that as a starting point, businesses can win over their customers by making better products and services.
For example, the user-centered Web3 paradigm, which updates data in real time, can make experiences that are very unique to each person. Like choosing the best rental car based on what you’ve done before and what you know about the trip. Or get you a room with windows that face south. Or choosing a vegetarian option for breakfast every time.
But blockchain needs to be a big part of the travel industry for these kinds of changes to happen.
Use-Cases of Blockchain Technology in the Travel Industry
By using blockchain development services, you can sell your travel products and services in new ways. But that’s not the end of the good things. Many of these applications are still only ideas, while others exist in some shape or form currently.
Direct Markets for Renting Homes
After the pandemic, more people started working from home, which made private rentals more popular. Deloitte said that by the end of the holiday season in 2021, the number of people who used private rentals went from 28% to 43%.
The travel business is trying to meet this need. Dtravel is a platform that is owned by the community and lets homeowners list their properties and get the money directly. Blockchain makes it possible for Dtravel to finally give control to the people who offer the service, which is different from how big aggregators do business.
The community has low fees, customers can talk to each other without being censored, and decisions are made by vote.
Simplified Digital Identification
As we’ve said before, identity verification needs a high level of security and the inability to change. Here’s what we think will happen in real life:
- After completing the know-your-client (KYC) steps to activate a cryptocurrency wallet, the user no longer has to physically carry any form of identification.
- They can use a mobile wallet app to make a QR code and scan it at an airport.
- The blockchain-based software at the airport will verify their identity and pull all the needed information from the ledger, such as their flight history, information about their bags, their current itinerary, food allergies, etc.
- The customer can then skip the check-in lines and go straight to the gate. The security personnel may only perform a quick pat-down search, and the flight attendants will likely have a good idea of what you prefer to eat. The miles will be added for you.
Improved Payment Settlement
Payments can be made directly between users using the decentralised blockchain technology and existing cryptocurrencies. Payments can finally be made cheaply and in real time in the travel supply chain.
This also makes things easier for customers: refunds aren’t a hassle, last-minute bookings are easy, and holding fares isn’t a problem.
Travel Ledger is a settlement project for the travel industry that is based on blockchain and is already working. It deals with transactions that don’t involve air travel. For a low fee, it offers automated billing and settlement services.
Better Inventory Management
Blockchain solutions can help manage any kind of inventory related to travel, from hotel rooms and airplane seats to toiletries and other items. With the blockchain ledger recording every move in a way that can’t be changed, you can prevent overbooking, reduce refunds, and automatically order new supplies.
And what about keeping track of bags, which is probably the hardest thing for airlines all over the world? But blockchain can also help with this.
Blockchain technology gives travel businesses a new way to be open and efficient with money. In return, customers will get better service and be more likely to come back and tell their friends about the business.
On the blockchain, it’s easy to change who owns vouchers, tickets, or anything else.
Customers can sell their vouchers as travel NFTs without risk. The distributed ledger and smart contracts enabled by blockchain technology will protect the rights of everybody involved.
As a buyer, you can be sure that your payment will come right away. The seller doesn’t have to worry about whether or not the asset is real or wait for it to be sent as a physical object. The owner of an NFT can cash it in at any time or rent it out to someone else.
Putting Carbon Emissions on Tokens
The tourism industry is a big source of carbon emissions, and sustainable transportation is becoming more popular. Blockchain technology can help your travel firm become carbon neutral.
One way to do this is to use your blockchain network to sell carbon credits. For example, you could offer your customers the chance to buy a small portion of your carbon tokens along with your services or products. This is a good cause, and your business will attract people who care about the environment just as much as you do.
There are a lot of ways that blockchain can help travel businesses. Asset tokenization is useful, smart contracts are flexible, and blockchains are safe and fast, which makes them perfect tools for the modern market.
To go ahead of the competition, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you should make the most of available technology. All you need is a good idea and a tech partner who can make it happen.