How Could Blockchain Affect the Hotel industry?
How Could Blockchain Affect the Hotel industry?

How Could Blockchain Affect the Hotel industry?

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You’ve probably heard in the news talk of a technology called blockchain, but did you know that it has become the new buzzword in hotel technology? How will Blockchain affect the Hotel industry? What will this mean for hotel operators and travelers? Read on to find out.

Blockchain Definition

Put simply, a blockchain is a decentralized ledger of digital transactions that records anything of value, including financial transactions. Blockchain started getting notoriety through its role in the development of digital cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.

Why Does It Matter for Hotels?

Blockchain technology removes the middlemen in transactions, such as in hotel bookings. A major advantage for hotels that used blockchain technology could be cost savings. Resulting in lower transaction fees and no middlemen between the hotel itself and guests.

The global hotel industry is worth around $500 billion annually. 25% of hotel industry revenue currently goes to the middlemen processors, this means that any technology that does away with these fees could add billions in revenue to hotel operators around the world each year.

Booking platforms (such as booking.com) need to present and verify both transactions and listings (including reviews). With cryptocurrencies, suddenly most of these limitations disappear. The blockchain network can be trusted to supply the currency and the ledger can serve to verify transactions without the need of a booking site. Decentralized security and easy verification of data are what blockchains were designed to solve.

Nordic choice hotels are already testing out blockchain tech developed by Winding Tree (an open-source travel distribution platform aiming to make travel cheaper for consumers and more profitable for hotel operators).

Summary of benefits to hotels:
• Validation of transactions (i.e. booking and payment)
• Reduced waiting time for customer check in and check out
• Collection of customer information, data protection
• Tracking / Billing of customer spending at hotel bars and restaurants, Wi-Fi use
• Control of internet connected objects – IOT (sensors, counters, feedback, connected maintenance)
• Physical and digital access controls
• Services with added value (loyalty rewards programs)

While the technology is still new, the possibilities for blockchain use in the industry is exciting for travelers and hotel operators.

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