Blockchain and Travel
Blockchain has been public knowledge since 2008. Like many innovations, it was met with skepticism. However, in recent years, the use of blockchain has become increasingly widespread. The tourism and hospitality industry is beginning to see the ways in which blockchain can change travel for the better.
One of its most promising features, is the ability to store and share data. Blockchain makes information secure by making it difficult to manipulate without specific types of access. As a result, the end user can make convenient, safe and efficient transactions.
FlightHub and JustFly take a closer look at the implications of blockchain technology throughout the travel world.
What Is Blockchain?
It may seem complicated, but it’s quite simple. Blockchain is a list of public records containing any given number of transactions between 2 or more parties. These records are called blocks. For security purposes, these blocks are encrypted and dispersed through a trackable peer-to-peer network.
Blocks typically contain 2 types of data : time stamps and transaction information. They’re also permanent and tamper-proof. Blocks can only be changed after being authorized by all parties. If changed, subsequent blocks will reflect all updates.
Blockchain and Travel:
Stable and secure services are important to many industries—travel, hospitality and tourism businesses are no exception. With blockchain technology, data is protected. It stays online and generally can’t be deleted. For these same reasons, blocks are unlikely to be compromised by hackers.
Travel is a competitive industry; but it relies heavily on teamwork between businesses. Companies in the travel and tourism space must share information to optimize services for customers. For example, an online travel agency may forward a client’s booking details to airlines, hotels, car rental and tour companies.
Blockchain can help streamline this process and make it more secure. In this case, customers and businesses would be able to track information every step of the way.
Examples of Blockchain and Travel:
FlightHub and JustFly have gathered a list of examples of blockchain being used in the travel sphere.
Blockchain can be used to safely and accurately alert customers to the whereabouts of their luggage. Once checked baggage is given to airline staff, it’s often passed around, especially on international trips. If the luggage location is made available every step of the way with blockchain, the likelihood of lost luggage would decrease.
Blockchain can also be used to make secure payments. This would reduce the potential for fraudulent transactions. It has the potential to create one network for all payments to be paid, processed and transferred without compromise.
As time goes on, more travel companies will also begin to accept cryptocurrencies as a standard method of payment. In fact, some airlines and travel agencies have already been accepting Bitcoin payments for more than 5 years.
The importance of proper identification protocol when traveling can’t be understated. It’s instrumental to the safety of airport and airline staff as well as travelers. It’s also one of the most time-consuming parts of commercial travel.
When combined with other technological trends like facial recognition, storing identification data via blockchain could lower wait times and help the environment by reducing the use of paper documents.
- Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs in the world of travel have been around for some time. The travel, tourism and hospitality industries use them to reward returning or long standing customers for their business. Blockchain can improve these programs by facilitating access to rewards, making the process easier and more secure.
Technology is changing the way we travel each day. Blockchain is one of many digital technology trends with the ability to do just that. The average traveler may not know much about blockchain, but it’s worth learning. Based on its constant rise in popularity and potential to improve travel, it won’t be long before blockchain technology becomes a mainstay in the travel industry.
Branded series by FlightHub
By Kyle Bernard
Kyle Bernard is a senior copywriter for FlightHub and JustFly. He is a McGill University graduate who has previously contributed content to Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog and other publications. He specializes in travel, business, tech and lifestyle writing.