Over the past decade, blockchain technology has gained traction, with many taking a sudden interest. But is it time to concede that it is a viable technology? Given the many black-market paradoxes associated with this technology, I get the reluctance to fully onboard the Crypto.
However, we can’t disregard its importance basing our arguments on the illicit acts of people like the ex-Quadriga founder Gerald Cotten. Blockchain is an encrypted and shared database serving as an incorruptible public database of stored information. The tech’s mass adoption is gravely vindicated as we have seen its potential to improve security and transparency.
Although blockchain will disintermediate transactions of online travel agents, it will increase customer-to-customer transactions in the industry, thus making trips rather more affordable. One notable example is Winding Tree, which directly connects travelers to service providers.
There are countries confident about the trend and have incorporated it into their travel industry, they include; Australia, Slovenia, the US, Italy, Spain, and the Czech Republic.
How can the travel industry leverage blockchain tech?
Blockchain should revolutionize how we travel because incorporating Crypto into the industry will boost the security and smooth operations of travel experiences—a win-win for all parties.
Easy and Transparent Payment Options
Using Crypto is a straightforward and transparent process for the travel industry. In addition, it could remove the existing manual and paper-based processes that are pretty long and inefficient. Using Crypto could smoothen traveler experiences; by cutting down conversion costs, eliminating expensive third parties and frauds, and making the booking process faster.
Adapting crypto payments will attract more travelers to a hotel and provide a transparent system that will make transactions in the industry easier, more transparent, faster, and safer.
Security in Travel
One of the most coveted things in the travel industry is security. Using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as payment for a trip could help maintain travelers’ financial security, thus making the travel industry secure. Financial security issues can make or break a country’s travel industry leading to backlash and tarnishing its public image. Here is where the use of Crypto comes in; it is an excellent way for businesses in the travel industry to process their payments.
Many travel businesses have fallen victim to stolen corporate information and identity theft. Secure payment options like Crypto can protect both business assets and customers. Crypto increases oversight and credit protection so businesses in the industry can guard against insider fraud. Crypto can also make it impossible to get away with accounting discrepancies.
Redefining Loyalty Programs
Over 90% of the adults in the US are subscribed to at least one loyalty program, according to research by MasterCard data. Loyalty programs are more popular today than ever, thus their absolute position in the travel industry. However, while loyalty programs have existed for decades, the recent emergence of crypto rewards in the industry may turn the tide.
Loyalty programs tend to offer less value, with most of them operating as a reward programs offering reward points. The rewards depend entirely on the company, which can offer fewer rewards or shut them down completely. The customer has no say in what happens in a loyalty program. The value of bitcoin, however, is controlled by the market demand due to its decentralization. Therefore, it can go up or down accordingly.
Crypto authorizes travelers to use their loyalty points for fiat, thus giving them opportunities to either participate in gaining value with their loyalty points. Travelers can trade or exchange their loyalty points for fiat. North Pacific Airways, for example, plans on launching FlyCoin, a reward for its frequent fliers that can be redeemed to gain elite airline status or free flights.
For a long time, the travel industry has been subject to region-based rewards, which can depreciate due to inflation, thus diminishing the reward. Cryptocurrencies allow customers to maintain their reward value and cash out or spend them wherever they wish without considering the currency. That makes cashback a subsequent investment for travelers.
Use of Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
The travel industry will soon bid goodbye to manual confirmations and physical tickets. Instead, using cryptocurrencies will shake up the travel industry’s age-old payment protocols, thus introducing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that can act as a form of identification or ticket.
NFTs will cut out the use of various platforms and make it possible for travelers to have the necessary data on their person. They are a key to unlocking crypto security while enhancing guest experiences. The idea is still being developed but with excellent growth potential.
Platforms like LynKey use NFT solutions for their travel services. That helps their clients avoid expensive third parties, exchanging their money into local currency, and saving them money.
How are travel affiliates currently using Crypto?
You can now use crypto to book flights, pay for your hotel room, and get car rental services.
Bitcoin.travel is one of the established pioneer Bitcoin travel sites. This site can book your entire trip, including flights and hotels. Bitcoin.travel gives you suggestions for flights, hotels, and other businesses that have adapted to cryptocurrency payments.
Bitcoin.travel has been operating since mid-2011 to create a credible, reliable, and easy-to-use website for businesses that accept Bitcoin payments. In addition, over 50 cryptocurrencies can be used by clients to purchase travel services on the website.
Destinia is a travel site or app that helps travelers book flights, hotels, trains, cars, skis, buses, and other traveling options and conveniences within Latin America. In addition, you can use the site to budget for your trips to have the best travel experience!
Expedia is one of the websites where you can make hotel bookings. It is reliable and accessible, and now you can book your hotel room with just Cryptocurrency.
The Pavilions Hotels and Resorts
The Pavilions Hotels and Resorts were the first international hotel group to accept crypto bookings worldwide. As of 2021, they accept up to 42 virtual currencies as payment as you book your stay. In addition, they partnered with Coindirect, a global crypto-payment gateway based in London, to make acceptance of cryptocurrencies possible at their hotels.
Sri Panwa Phuket
The Sri Panwa Phuket hotel started accepting cryptocurrency payments in September 2021. Guests can book their rooms at this hotel using; Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDC, and USTD.
Surfair is a private air club that offers flight services. They charge a monthly fee for an all-you-can-fly service where you can get flights from airports in Texas and California.
Travelers can also access seasonal flights to and from other states like Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Midland, and San Antonio. Patrons can also access flights to some cities in Europe. The private air club has been accepting cryptocurrency payments from clients since 2017.
This article was initially published by Trip Dhow.