Blockchain – The new technology also for the tourism industry
3 questions for Chain4Travel on the topic of blockchain
Is it just tekkie hype or will it soon be part of everyday life for all of us? We talked to Chain4Travel and asked Vincent Usbeck, Head of Sales & Marketing, 3 questions about this topic.
Vincent Usbeck, Head of Sales & Marketing, Chain4Travel
What are the general advantages of blockchain technology?
Blockchain technology offers various advantages that can be used in virtually all industries. This primarily includes the topic of data security, which includes, for example, protection against cyber-attacks, traceability, and minimization of human error. This also means greater transparency through the ability to view all transactions that take place on the respective blockchain. In addition, peer-to-peer technology allows for increased efficiency and speed, as well as reduced contractualities. Not only can data be exchanged within seconds and directly, but trust in anonymous contract partners and the automation of contract terms and processes can also be ensured in this way. I would like to highlight the promising blockchain-based applications, such as so-called smart contracts or NFTs, which are used to automate and tokenize various virtual and real assets.
What does the tourism industry gain from using this technology?
The advantages that arise for the tourism industry are almost endless and in no way already exhausted. Benefits, which are considered by our supporters to be particularly groundbreaking, include efficiency gains and the democratization of the industry. We get the first point by being able to map current business models and transactions more cost-effectively, reliably, and efficiently through the new blockchain-based network. Services that today can hardly be cost-efficient due to complex API connections and cumbersome processes thus become attractive by using the Camino infrastructure. The second results from the fact that all validators participating in the Camino network have the same voting rights, regardless of whether 500,000 euros or several hundred million euros in sales are generated in the process. And it doesn't matter whether a travel provider operates only in the Black Forest or worldwide.
B2B and B2C transactions also benefit from the “single source of truth” that our network offers. This makes it easier and safer to work together with uniform data.
For you, what does the future of the tourism IT industry look like? What else will there be, what rather not?
I am convinced that we will see extensive consolidation and many changes in the coming years. We used to dictate to customers in the travel industry what tools were available to them. In the last decade, this has changed significantly. Customers have expectations that must be met: Usability, convenience, and security take precedence over internal processes and tools. Since the introduction of the cell phone, this has led to many companies putting a lot of effort into front ends, apps, and customization, etc. However, the backend systems, protocols, and APIs are often the same as they were at the turn of the millennium. A great deal of action needs to be taken here. And if tourism IT doesn't evolve on its own, from within, it will be transformed by outside companies and technologies that have little to few use cases in tourism today. At Chain4Travel, we recognize this transformative power in Web3 technology and its potential matches to that of the Internet.
Chain4Travel is the facilitator of the Camino consortium blockchain, a new disruptive approach to trade touristic products B2B, B2C and D2C with over 120 supporters from the travel industry.