Blockchain is changing the way we do business and how we interact with each other. It’s speed, security and global accessibility are ideal for the travel industry which is predicted to hit the trillion dollar mark by 2022. Hotels, airlines, car hire companies and vendors with online bookings are expected to dominate this market. Visiting your travel agent in person may become a thing of the past as online travel agents have started gaining a greater share of the market.
With this rapid growth and evolution in mind, the travel industry needs an innovative solution that will decrease operating costs and increase customer satisfaction. Whilst many technology companies have entered the travel space recently, the problem is that they seem focused on maximizing their revenue from hotels and airlines.
For the travel industry to really thrive, they need a partner who will not disrupt business operations, but actually work positively with the industry. This is where blockchain comes in. As an innovative technology solution, blockchain will help lower operating costs and make the travel industry more efficient in numerous ways.
Better Payment Security
Where blockchain can really benefit the travel industry is in increasing the security of online payments. Whilst the digital payment space has improved a lot in the past few years, scams and fraudulent transactions are still costing the travel industry billions of dollars each year.
As recently as 2015, statistics suggest that fraud on credit card payments cost the industry over $16 Billion. For the travel industry to truly progress to the next level, it must adopt innovative technologies that will guarantee security and protect its consumers.
A primary advantage of blockchain is that it is decentralized. This means that it is impossible for the system to go offline, meaning that information will never be lost or deleted in the event of an attack.
Transactions using blockchain are always secure and traceable. Subsequently, this ensures storing and retaining important information much easier. Practically, blockchain can be used to facilitate instant and convenient international payments. While also allowing various travel companies across the globe to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
Improved Travel Hospitality
Blockchain would make it exponentially easier for hospitality companies in the travel industry to operate. A practical example would be loyalty programs centered around air miles, hotel rewards points, etc. Not only would blockchain provide customers with easier and simpler access to their information, but it would also significantly reduce the rampant fraudulent activities that exist in this space.
Moreover, blockchain would immensely improve the efficiency of hospitality in the travel industry. At this time, customers have to separately book flights, hotels, tours, and activities, etc. with different companies. This can be quite the hassle and actually puts a lot of people off planning long holiday trips.
Blockchain would be able to effectively integrate all of these different services. This is a game changer in the sense that it makes it much more convenient for consumers to book holidays themselves. It will also improve customer protection and reduce the need to hire travel agents that are notorious for overcharging.
Efficient Identity Verification
The travel industry is extremely reliant on the use of identification services and blockchain would excel in this regard. It has all the makings of being a very effective way of providing travelers with digital identities. Assuming it is used correctly, it could significantly improve airport efficiency and would, in turn, make the customer’s experience more enjoyable.
Blockchain technology could easily be used to reduce check-out times and the length of queues in airports. Similarly, documentation such as a passport and driver’s license can be replaced by facial scans or fingerprinting. This would dramatically reduce crimes such as identity theft and immensely improve the reputation of the travel industry in the process.
Improved Air Travel Efficiencies
Blockchain has the potential to have an immensely positive impact on air travel. It could be used to effectively streamline and coordinate the entire process. Hence, reducing the occurrence of inconveniences such as flight delays as well as inaccurate arrival and departure times.
Similarly, it could prove extremely beneficial for tracking the movements of luggage, especially on long international flights with multiple changeovers. Lost luggage costs the travel industry and its users billions of dollars each year. A decentralized database such as blockchain would make it much easier to share tracking data between the various airports involved.
Global Travel Stored Value Token (GTX)
The Global Travel Stored Value Token (GTX), has the potential to be a game changer in the travel industry and improve upon all of its current problems. It seeks to disrupt the current state of hospitality and rewards offerings by providing a new global cryptocurrency for the rewards travel sector.
This will be done primarily by reducing the virtual credit card system between online travel agents, hotels and airlines. This will benefit both customers and travel hospitality companies by transitioning from a variable model to a fixed cost per transaction model.
Moreover, GTX would effectively speed up the payment settlement process, making it more efficient and cost-effective for all the parties involved. Lowering costs will improve the overall bottom line for both agents and suppliers who can then pass this on in the form of savings to consumers.
This ecosystem will result in a plethora of benefits for the travel industry. First and foremost, it will significantly reduce the costs associated with travel-related transactions. Similarly, it would completely eliminate the 0.6% global rate of card fraud which currently costs businesses in the travel industry billions of dollars each year.
At the same time, GTX has the goal of engendering loyalty by implementing reward structures that benefit agents, consumers, and suppliers. GTX has the makings of a powerhouse that could revolutionize the travel industry. This can be achieved by lowering costs and providing efficient and timely transactions. If we see blockchain technology take off in the travel industry, it won’t be long before we see other industries adopt this incredible technology.
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