Autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and now blockchain technology are just some of the recent innovations that have set the travel industry on fire.
Despite its popularity in connection with Bitcoin and other digital currencies, blockchain’s potential applications extend far beyond the realm of digital assets. It has the potential to completely alter the way the travel industry manages reservations, customer data, and other sensitive information.
What is Blockchain?
Let’s review what blockchain is before we dive into its potential uses. Blockchain can be thought of as a distributed, immutable ledger that keeps track of transactions across a network of computers. The information can hardly be altered after it has been entered. As a result, blockchain is incredibly safe and reliable.
Centralization-Free Reservations Processing
Centralized systems have long been the backbone of the booking and reservation industry. When planning a trip, you most likely use a hotel’s online booking system, a flight reservation website, or a combination of the two. These coordinating hubs play an intermediary role between service providers and their respective clientele.
By utilizing blockchain technology, we can decentralize this system, allowing customers to interact straight with businesses like airlines and hotels. Due to the lack of middlemen in this P2P (peer-to-peer) model, costs are reduced. In addition, blockchain makes bookings irreversible, which cuts down on fraud and double-booking.
Smart Contracts for Hotel Bookings
Blockchain technology may be used to implement “smart contracts” in the hospitality industry. When certain criteria are met, these contracts will execute themselves. If you book a hotel room and the hotel confirms your reservation, the smart contract could automatically deduct the cost of the room from your account and send you a digital key. The process is simplified and the potential for fraud is reduced.
Safekeeping of Private Data
The safekeeping and administration of sensitive data is a major issue in the modern digital world. When we travel, whether by plane, car, or hotel, we constantly reveal sensitive information about ourselves, including names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, and even fingerprints and retina scans.
Once your data is stored in a blockchain, it cannot be changed or removed without your explicit permission. Data is protected from hacking and other security breaches because each ‘block’ is encrypted and linked to the one before it.
Tokenization: A Safer Way to Transact Online
Tokenization can be used as a supplementary safety measure. Credit card numbers and other private information are rendered useless if intercepted because they have been “tokenized,” or converted into a unique set of symbols. These tokens add another layer of protection to sensitive data because they can only be decrypted by authorized users.
Envision a world where all of your travel details, from plane tickets to hotel bookings, are safely recorded in a blockchain ledger. From the initial reservation to the final payment, smart contracts handle it all. Your data is encrypted, tokenized, and stored in a secure location that you and your approved service providers have access to.
Tripklik and other travel tech companies are in a prime position to lead the charge in the travel industry’s adoption of blockchain technology. Because of their standing as travel agencies’ go-to partners, blockchain technology can help them pioneer more reliable, effective, and customer-friendly platforms.
Service providers and customers alike can benefit from adopting blockchain for reservations and bookings thanks to the way it increases efficiency, security, and trust. It’s a glimpse into the future of safe, efficient travel that’s exciting for an industry that’s going digital.