Blockchain in Travel Industry – Nowadays, customers leave a stream of complicated commercial transactions between unconnected players while moving across the travel value chain. The travel industry, today, has to depend upon different companies transferring information between one another. For instance, travel agents have to send the customer’s information to flight companies and hotels.
Also, payments and settlements remain a significant challenge for the travel industry. Frequent refunds and cancellations and disconnected customer touchpoints are some of the operational challenges that make the travel ecosystem complicated.
However, blockchain, the distributed ledger technology can bring transformation to the travel industry by allowing secure and transparent exchange of information.
The blockchain is a decentralized database shared across a network of stakeholders where digital transactions are stored and organized in a verifiable, transparent, and secure way.
The information added to the blockchain has to be validated by consensus from all involved parties rather than by one central administrator. So, errors are reduced as there is no single point of control.
Each block of information added to the chain is time-stamped ensuring that the information is auditable and traceable at any time. Blocks added to the blockchain can never be removed or modified eliminating the risk of data tampering and fraud.
Blockchain Travel Solution can enable simultaneous access to the updated data across multiple parties while protecting data at the same time.
We shall discuss different use cases of the Blockchain Travel platform and explain how they can benefit customers and travel industry players.
Blockchain Travel Solution- Disrupting the Travel Sector
Due to the unstructured data stored in the multiple databases, it becomes difficult for the airline companies and travel agents to manage the inventory seamlessly.
Nowadays, travel agents and airline companies have to interact with each other manually to update the inventory of a flight, which is cumbersome and time-consuming.
Also, poor visibility of inventory may lead to refunds, overbookings and cancellations. Blockchain travel solution can help solve this problem by adding each confirmed booking as a transaction block.
Every involved participant can have a transparent view of the inventory, helping them to examine the demand for a specific airline quickly.
Here are the user personas that could be involved in the inventory management of an airline:
- Airline Company
- Travel Agents
- Mobile App/ Web Portal for Airline Company
- Mobile App/ Web Portal for Travel Agents
- Mobile App for Traveler
- Permissioned blockchain component
- Microservices programmed using node.js
Here’s how blockchain-based travel inventory management could work:
Step 1: Traveler books an air ticket via travel agent’s website or airline company’s website
A traveler who wants to travel from one city to another city, can either book a ticket from the travel agency or the airline’s company website.
When a person successfully books the ticket, the payment can be deducted automatically from their crypto wallet. Once the booking gets confirmed, a transaction corresponding to it can be added to the blockchain to maintain transparency and traceability.
Step 2: Airline Companies and travel agencies can manage inventory simultaneously
Due to the potential properties of blockchain to offer transparency, it can become possible for the travel agents and airline companies to manage inventory at the same time.
No matter if the ticket is booked via a travel agent or airline company, every stakeholder within the ecosystem can access the updated inventory details from time to time directly through the blockchain.
A blockchain-enabled inventory solution can help get rid of challenges like overbookings and cancellations by maintaining a block of transactions for every confirmed booking.
Traveler ID verification:
Currently, travelers are required to show their ID at multiple stages of the journey. Whether a person has to book a flight, pass security checks, buy something from duty-free shops, or to stay in a hotel, the traveler may need different IDs for multiple purposes.
Blockchain travel ecosystem could offer a friction-less experience by eliminating the need to share personal or financial information repeatedly.
Let’s understand how it could become possible with the help of blockchain.
User personas that can be involved within the identity verification system:
- Verification Companies
- Third parties
- Mobile Application for Travelers and Third Parties
- Mobile Application/Web Portal for Verification Companies
- Permissioned Blockchain component
- Microservices programmed using node.js
Here’s how blockchain could offer a hassle-free identification system:
Step 1: Travelers register on the mobile app for identification
Blockchain enables users to have control over their identity by creating it on their own.
Users can sign up on a blockchain-based identification app to upload the personal verification documents and biometric data.
The documents and biometrics data uploaded by the travelers will be saved in the distributed storage platforms with their hashes stored in the blockchain.
Step 2: Verification companies get a notification and verify a traveler
After the traveler updates their details on the app, the verifying companies get a notification on the mobile phone, email or SMS.
The verification companies check the profiles and mark them as approved or disapproved. Smart contracts save the profile’s status to the blockchain, ensuring that the user will not have to undergo a detailed verification every time.
Step3 Third-parties can seamlessly authenticate a traveler
Whether it is about security check, baggage verification or booking a ticket, a traveler has to go through multiple rounds of verification. But a blockchain-based ID can save a lot of time by removing the need for carrying numerous documents.
It will be a time-saving process for third-parties as well as they can seamlessly verify a traveler by accessing user’s immutable details directly through the blockchain.
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Another challenge is to keep track of traveler’s luggage as it changes hands from Airlines to ground handlers at airports. Blockchain travel platform can allow all parties to exchange information even if they are not in the same alliance or related to the same segment.
Storing the real-time information about baggage on the blockchain can help all stakeholders trace the information at any time.
Read further to understand how it can work.
User Personas involved:
- Baggage Handler
- Mobile App for Travelers
- Mobile app/Web Portal for Baggage Handler
- Permissioned Blockchain Component
- Microservices programmed using node.js
Here’s how baggage tracking could be done quickly with the help of blockchain:
Step 1: Baggage Handler can add luggage details to the mobile app
Baggage Handler involved at every step of baggage transfer can save the details such as current location, bag type or current time while adding information on the mobile app.
Baggage information will be saved to the blockchain. Because of the features like immutability and cryptographic mechanism, no party other than the individual who added details would be able to modify it.
Step 2: Travelers can seamlessly trace back the baggage information
With the help of blockchain, travelers will be able to trace back the baggage information seamlessly. Smart contracts can control what information should be displayed to which individual.
Time-stamped data recorded on the blockchain will enable travelers to track the entire history of the baggage transfer.
Examples of Blockchain Projects for the Travel Industry
LockChain serves as a marketplace for hospitality companies and hotels who want to rent out the property to travelers. The platform includes property management, booking process and payment services. Since it is built on the blockchain, it saves travelers from paying a lot of commission fees with no middlemen involved in the ecosystem.
- Winding Tree
Winding Tree is a non-profit company using blockchain technology to connect hotels, airlines and tour guides directly with travelers around the world. As a result, the high fees are surcharges could be reduced by removing intermediaries from the ecosystem.
BeeNest is a decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace where guests can find affordable accommodation, hosts can make extra income and mediators can solve disputes or issues quickly. As users can make payment with Bee tokens via smart contracts, transactions don’t involve intermediaries or middlemen and the commission fees for users is zero.
Blockchain has the potential to make traveling secure, transparent, and simple. Blockchain-based travel platforms can offer profits to the travel market by connecting users with travel service providers avoiding aggregators and intermediaries.
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