Travel industry

Do you remember, just 60 or 70 years ago people believed that after the year 2000 robots and self-driven flying vehicles would be a part of our life? Those predictions did not really have the right timing; however, we do live now in the world dominated by technology, internet, and various smart devices.

For decades, our life has been driven forward by innovation. The introduction of new solutions has fundamentally changed the way we live, experience something, cope with our everyday tasks, and solve problems. Besides, the interest in traveling and opportunities for it has grown tremendously. That’s why the travel industry is constantly changing due to the increasingly connected world and the globalization of services. The way people travel has changed already as well, but we expect even more revolutionary innovations in this sphere. Do you want to know more?

Modern Technologies in Travelling

We have already multiple online travel-related services, which make our life easier, just remember Booking, Expedia, Uber, and Airbnb solving the transportation and inexpensive and flexible lodging problems for travellers. At present Apple, Google, Priceline, and many others are on that list already. They are offering the customers highly innovative opportunities for booking and arranging trips.

Even so, online travel services are still often derailed by various factors and the amount of intermediaries is unreasonably high, which also means added costs and fewer alternatives.

Ground-breaking blockchain technology entry into the travelling market

“It will be very difficult for intermediaries to have sustainable business cases. These platforms [travel intermediaries] build reach by spending billions on advertising, and then they create monopolistic margins on top of what they have as sales and marketing. They do offer great sales and marketing. …, but they create superior margins because they have monopolistic structures. Blockchain destroys this.”
Fritz Joussen, CEO of TUI Group

Nowadays the innovative blockchain technology enters the scene, promising to become a viable solution and to gain success in future.

For the majority of people, blockchain is still a vague notion, which is often associated with cryptocurrency, but its opportunities are much wider. Actually, it’s the data collecting and encrypting technology, which can be used in various spheres of our life. It’s extremely secure due to the fact that data is saved in multiple blocks at a time and constantly synchronized and checked for accuracy.

Turning back to the topic of travelling, several companies are already providing services in various sectors of the travel industry. They demonstrate that a platform does not need to extract value to be profitable and useful.

Such innovative solutions introduced blockchain into the world of travelling and generated their own tokens.

“We are building a platform for travel distribution without middle-men and blockchain is the tool that allows for it. We want to give the distribution power back to the individual hotels and airlines.”
Maksim Izmaylov, Winding Tree founder.

The theory is good, but let’s fantasize a bit about how travelling could look like in a blockchain enabled world.

Business trips arrangements get easier

Imagine: in 5-7 years you are a part of a big corporation and your business trip is planned in 3 weeks.

However, you do not need to care about the trip arrangements yourself. What you need is only your smartband. Your company has got already a bot for travel management, and once it finds the ideal moment for booking a flight at the best price a notification comes to your smartband. The bot, let’s call it Jan recommends itinerary, where the flights and hotels are already included. More than that Jan is aware of your company travel policies as well as your personal preferences and both factors are already taken into consideration when calculating the best fare for you.

Such a suggestion can’t but makes you happy and all you need to do is to confirm your trip.

However, it’s not all the benefits you get. A minute later Jan informs you that your company has had 200 reservations at the hotel this year already and a certain clause in the contract between your company and the hotel presupposes bringing the room rate down by 20 %. Dealt! The flights and hotel are booked in no time and charged to your corporate account. You don’t need to face any hassle anymore and can just enjoy your trips and the way they are arranged.

Flight delay insurance

In case your flights are often delayed, your smart assistant Jan is sure to be aware of it. He will definitely offer you to add a flight delay insurance to your trip. In case you agree, he knows, you cover such costs from your personal wallet and he transfers your personal means immediately to the insurance company.
As soon as all the arrangements are done, you can relax, while your band joins billions of other smart devices, contributing to mining processing. When you don’t use it, it is still serving the peer-to-peer network and running the blockchain where the most of the assets and data are kept.

When the day of your trip comes and your flight is really delayed, you got to know about it from your smartband as usually. It even tells you that the airplane has had a defective part, which is already sent for the production on a 3D printer by means of blockchain technology as well. All the data, files, specifications and details are being verified and double-checked in the process. It takes time, however, not much and soon the detail is replaced an aircraft is brought in and you are invited onboard.

Just two or three hours later you pass the facial recognition scanner and board the plane. Here Jan reminds about himself and your flight delay insurance policy, which has been activated and resulted in the premium added to your wallet.

Airlines reward points

While you are busy with your own affairs, a new notification comes in, claiming that the reward points for the flight have been credited to your account. You are free to spend it on some in-flight shopping, your hotel room upgrade or whatever. At this point, you simply wonder how humanity managed earlier without interoperable loyalty programs.

Personal data access

Though the borders are not yet erased, border control at your destination is fast, convenient, and trouble-free. You use one and the same digital ID for booking a trip while boarding a plane, and when crossing a border.
Now you can just in one transaction book your ticket, clear customs, have your loyalty points added, use them immediately to pay for your transfer to your final destination and be sure that there will be no more lost or delayed baggage in your life.

But the most important thing with the blockchain technology is that your personal data is not stored in any centralized databanks or owned by any corporate bodies. It is securely kept on the blockchain, verifiable and immutable. The providers servicing you during the trip can connect to the database and get your data whenever they require it. Your corporate travel management department can, for instance, seek there for your contact information and travel preferences. The air company authenticates your identity, verifies your booking through the same database, while the border control checks your travel document or visa details in it.

One more benefit of a blockchain is that you personally decide what information to share, with whom, and when. You can allow access to various data sets for different suppliers, displaying only the details they need at the exact moment. Smart contracts allow setting up the specific permissions and define who can access your data and documents and at what time. The information is right there in your account, available on request.
The blockchain is actually freedom, privacy, and security in a state-of-art unity. Your personal data is really private and does not float around in corporate databases.

No intermediaries or any additional fees

Your trip is going on, but the time was lost during the flight delay so you can ask Jan to get you a ride. Just in several minutes after your request, you are already inside a self-driving auto found and booked through your company’s preferred ride-sharing service.

At this moment in the car on your way to your destination, you just can’t help but think that there has not really been a true sharing economy before the blockchain technology was created. The companies claiming several years ago to have enabled “sharing,” just aggregated the services of others and charged fees for it. They were ordinary intermediaries acting between the users.

At this moment in the car on your way to your destination, you just can’t help but think that there has not really been a true sharing economy before the blockchain technology was created. The companies claiming several years ago to have enabled “sharing,” just aggregated the services of others and charged fees for it. They were ordinary intermediaries acting between the users.

Then the new types of organizations appeared, the legislation was finally revised, and the seemingly disruptive startups evolved into powerful multibillion-dollar companies. As a result, all the revenue goes directly to the service supplier without any extra fees because there is no one anymore mediating the orders. The payments are processed in minutes and seconds you do not need to wait for days or even weeks. You can simply enjoy life without any additional worries.

Blockchain quickly copes with force majeure

You live, work and walk, do your everyday routine and even do not care about your keys. When approaching the hotel room door you find it already opened as your smartband has already connected to the smart lock.

In case you’ve faced some emergency, let’s say, a small car accident, and got injured, you can also benefit from the healthcare service, which is more effective and secure with the blockchain technology. Wherever you are, sharing your medical records occurs in no time and you get the necessary treatment according to your general health condition.

Imagine that you have got into some kind of accident and missed the flight. No problems at all for Jan to pick up on a new one to you and rebook it and a hotel room if needed. Besides you can now benefit from distributed lodging service organizations, it’s safe since the reputation of the accommodations and their owners are guaranteed by the blockchain. You are sure not to get any unpleasant surprises. Besides, your reputation as a renter gets stored as well so you can provide it to other retailers and services.

Blockchain is future

Though the story above is only our fantasy at present, it definitely provides inspiration. To make it a reality we just need to overcome certain difficulties and formalities in technical, regulatory, financial, social/cultural and security, spheres. As soon as the services really start the integration with the blockchain, all of the above mentioned can become the innovations we’ll see with our own eyes.

There are already companies in the sphere of travelling, which are working to improve the fundamental aspects of the travel ecosystem and establish already blockchain’s place in the industry, but they are only working in separate fields, and not yet linked on a global web.

“Blockchain is not the thing, it is the thing that enables the thing”.
Bart Suichies

However looking at other emerging technologies one can realize, this is our soon-coming reality. Traveling should be comfortable, cost-effective, and what is really vital, enjoyable. Blockchain challenges the present-day status quo of traveling services with a host of innovative facilities intended to revolutionize and streamline the travel experience.

Blockchain offers a single, secure, transparent global ledger, which allows reducing costs for airlines, hotels and travel agencies significantly and that is the ‘killer process’, which makes the innovative technology worth using for.

No matter if the users are aware of it or no, blockchain will soon simply be there, working invisibly in the background streamlining and enhancing all processes. As we do not care now how the internet works we will have no idea whether some product uses blockchain or not, as long as it works and does something we need or want.

We will simply enjoy our life and travel all around the world hassle and trouble free!