Blockchain Disrupts Travel and Tourism

In the past year—I’ve traveled from the Smokey Mountains, to the Antelope Canyon in Arizona, and to the Pacific Northwest in Seattle.  And I must admit—there is nothing quite like traveling. There’s nothing like seeing a new place for the first time. So whether you are traveling alone, on business, or with a loved one, strap on, because now blockchain is poised to disrupt the travel industry.

Travelers have a wide range of options to plan and to book their vacations. A traveler can go to their nearest brick-and-motor travel agency, they may go to online booking agencies, or they may book directly with airlines, hotels and car rentals. One can log on from their laptop, or from the myriad of apps on their smartphones. “Digital marketplaces are replete with apps that help you plan your next vacation, book accommodation or pick the right restaurant for the occasion,” writes Dylan Sharkey, in Irish Tech News.

Sharkey noted that while the travel and tourism industry has evaded the eye of blockchain developers—there are a few companies emerging in this sector that utilize the potential of blockchain technology. In this article—I review booking services, security, and savings.

Hotel Booking

According to Forbes, the travel and tourism industry is on the verge of being disrupted by blockchain technology and decentralization with blockchain distributed ledger technology. Projects like Lock Trip, Winding Tree and Bee Token aim to disrupt the market leader: AirBnB. As an example, LockTrip allows a traveler to book hotels—commission free!

According to LockTrip—their decentralized and free travel engine “keeps all hotels, rates and availability as an open-source turnkey solution for any third party application that wish to connect and offer retail travel services at 0% commission.”  They’ve already gone live with 100,000 hotels and over 1,000 airlines.  LockTrip defines itself as an ecosystem and marketplace “where anyone can enjoy cheaper travel without paying unfair commissions to middlemen.” (LockTrip.com)

Security

Nearly everyone I talk to about their traveling experience at airports have some story to tell about TSA.  Clearly, since 9/11 airport and travel security has been on every traveler’s mind. According to Skift, the US government could be a leader in security use case application of blockchain at airports and ports of entry.

Andrew Sheivachman, Skift,  reported on the Travel Summit in New York City. When asked what the nature of blockchain for customs and border protections might look like—Sikina Hasham, program manager of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, offered the following reply:

“One area we’ve seen a significant amount of success in is facial comparison and biometric data. There is a service we’ve created to verify who an individual boarding an aircraft who is as they’re seeking admission into the United States. If we could have more data for the verification from another government party that would be really great for us.”

Travel Savings

If you’ve booked an airline trip or a hotel reservation on an online booking engine, or you’ve been offered a credit card while traveling—then you know you are enticed with points, or mileage for future use on hotel stays and free airline travel. So too, is blockchain being looked at for travel savings. One such application is Airsave Travel, a company that merges blockchain with tourism to pass along savings to travelers.

The Airsave Travel platform, according to ICO Bench, offers a platform for travelers to accumulate saving. Travelers can earn money and increase their investment with Airsave Travel. Based on referrals—users can redeem their savings in decentralized travel tokens such as TASH and Bitcoin. Approved and already operational on the Apple App Store, the app is unique in that it not only helps users save now, but at the same time earn for their next trip. (Sharkey, Dylan)

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Conclusion

The summer is not yet over, and there are plenty of travel days left for 2019. As you prepare your travel itinerary you can begin to think about including blockchain technology in your travel plans from booking a hotel to saving on your expenses.


Sources

Editors, “Earn Money Toward Your Travel Goals”, ICO Bench, July 2019.

LocKTrip, LOC LockTrip wofkflow, https://locktrip.com/, July 2019.

Sharkey, Dylan, “Will 2019 Be The Year Blockchain Disrupts The Travel Industry?”, Irish Tech News, March 2019.

Sheivachman, Andrew, “U.S. Customs Wants to Use Blockchain for Travel Security Measures”, Skift, March 2019.

 

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