Blockchain is arguably the most important technological force that has made mammoth ramifications in several industries and is perched to change the status quo of the travel industry.
For those who are new to the terminology (if), blockchain is a shared public ledger database composed of data as blocks, integrated together as a chain with cryptography. The transactions, trades and interactions are decentralized, accessible publicly, are permanent and verifiable. Bitcoin emerged on the blockchain as the first cryptocurrency to eliminate centralized authorities/third-party, solving the double-spending problem in most economic ecosystems. Crypto paves way for classless and transparent payments, alongside flawless information flow and efficient resource exchange in the travel industry. An industry plagued by the monopoly of OTAs, FOREX and legacy hospitality chains. An industry plagued more importantly, by distrust and price manipulation.
What is Crypto solving here?
Cliched questions like these hold answers to deep truths. That was with a tad bit of melodrama. Let’s talk about ‘Payment Delays’.
Booking revenue paid to major OTAs is not directed to the Travel Vendors directly, it takes several days and commission thinning (more on this beauty later..) to arrive. The bigger the OTA, the better they are at justifying their delay in playing with the funds. This is very taxing on small and medium-sized travel vendors/businesses creating a forced capital deficit.
Cryptocurrency puts these gatekeepers out of protecting what doesn’t need protection owing to crypto’s peer to peer technology protocols and a straightforward ‘Traveler to Service provider’ connection.
Contrary to popular belief, hoarding customer data in centralized formats and guarding them obsessively from prying eyes by all the OTAs, actually, makes it impossibly hard to integrate client information, retrieve data, scrutinize major industry trends or reflect on a global data activation perspective.
The decentralized nature and accessibility of data stored over the blockchain paves way for enhanced research and vastly reduce time in data retrieval and therefore its activation too.
The Pricing and Security Fiasco
We were talking about the futility of centralized data hoarding. Hackers steal client data from centralized entities to commit global fraud, similar to walking in the garden or taking candy from a baby. Centralized means it is basically all in one location and access pool instead of being spread out, say for example a major national bank was to have its database compromised by an individual, which becomes an issue of national security and national economic turmoil.
Blockchain maintains its data pertaining to one location on a central hub in that respective location, which means if somebody were to hack in, the damage would be restricted locally and wouldn’t affect all other peers or data nodes attached to the mainframe. Blockchain takes this very seriously, for this reason, all data pertaining to the mainframe is distributed and synchronized across all the peers/nodes within the network. Good luck to the hacker going through all that jazz ha!
Yet, the toil and hardship involved in preserving security constantly look into the eyes of its antonym. Thought I would say something nice in lieu of not getting myself hacked.
The reason for the inclusion of ‘pricing’ alongside data security concerns is to draw a connection to the futility of economics in favour of the traveller, where a plethora of expenses add-ons, sur-charges, bloated invoices and insurance go to empty words and empty deeds. Good job OTAs. Fabricated reviews, bogus trade history, manipulated ‘search result listings’, in favour of self-centric philanthropist vendors and restrictive algorithms, are the comprehensive and consolidated OTA fairy tale of doom. “Pay more to lose more” is what they’re saying. Forget that, when we take into account all the buddies hanging out there with the OTAs, like FOREX, commission rates, payment gatekeepers, brokers and transaction slack, that is a party you don’t have to pay entry for. Seeing there are so many mandatory ala carte options.
Pros and Con clusions
The Decentralized Travel Industry (DeTi) does not enjoy a majoritarian support base nor is it immune to volatility in the crypto-economics of the blockchain. So yeah basically it might tank as everything else we know in life. Or should I say, we seem to know?
Thank you for reading folks! Be part of this interesting period in Humanity's stint on the planet. Please let me know what your thoughts are on the blockchain in the comments section below.