Tourism — the Next Sector to Benefit Big from Blockchain Solutions?
Blockchain technology based solutions are being researched and developed across various industries and applications — and with an increasing amount of success and investor capital backing behind them. Approaching the end of 2017, we observe yet another sector seeking to benefit from the cryptography based protocol — the tourism industry.
The potential uses for blockchain in tourism are far reaching. As initial examples, sector innovators are considering using blockchain to enhance the quality of tourism services and products delivered to customers. Additionally, the blockchain can be used to improve the security and accuracy of information sharing between parties — both in terms of transaction details and financial transfers. In addition, blockchain can enhance the process of dealing with service providers directly — cutting out middle-men costs and other travel agent fees so that the supplying business can maximise returns and the customer can get a more customised package.
Russia — An Innovative Outlook
On a global scale, Russia has been an early adopter and supporter in many ways of cryptocurrencies and blockchain based applications. At the Kazan Tourism Forum 2017 in early November, the head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism, Oleg Safonov, publicly expressed his opinion that Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt and improve Russian tourism. This comment is in line with the start of a global trend to incorporate blockchain into the worldwide tourism business. Despite a certain amount of caution towards digital currency trading, Russian leaders are very supportive of blockchain technology development. One of the more recent expressions of this support comes in the form of an announcement in October of this year that the Russian government plans to test a project that integrates Blockchain into the land registry system in early 2018.
Aruba — A Successful Early Stage Use Case
One of the most recent innovations between blockchain and the tourism industry comes from Aruba. A partnership with two major airlines (Lufthansa and Air New Zealand) and travel technology specialist Winding Tree, has made Aruba the first official country to apply blockchain within a tourism distribution platform. The platform will connect Aruba’s numerous small hotels to their potential customer base and will be launched in early 2018. Built on the Ethereum protocol the platform offers the use of a public, decentralised blockchain that incorporates smart contracts. These smart contracts offer a more efficient, customisable and secure interface for dealings between customers and vendors. This move is part of Aruba’s overarching plan to implement a “Smart Island Strategy” that aims to make the country run on 100% renewable energy by 2020.
Also in the region, which derives most of its economic output from tourism, Caribbean cryptocurrency “bitt” will help local islands reduce dependency on foreign banks — and hence reduce the related, often excessive, fees. This will further enhance the region’s tourism offerings by reducing the overhead cost base for local hotels.
Learn how OTN is going to apply blockchain to improve your experience: https://goo.gl/aKXWzt
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