Revolutionizing the travel and hospitality industry with Blockchain and NFTs

Revolutionizing the travel and hospitality industry with Blockchain and NFTs

To understand how the travel and hospitality industry can benefit from blockchain, it is appropriate to focus on two fundamental points: immutability of the data written on the distributed ledger and the programmability of the data itself. On a blockchain, the diffusion of the ledger is such that it guarantees to everyone, and in a transparent way, the possibility to verify the validity of a transaction from its origin and to ensure that once it is approved in a blockchain, it can no longer be rejected .

By ‘transaction’ I mean a complex concept that combines both the data (ie the information) and the rules that manage it; we call this conceptual set ‘Smart contract‘. A smart contract is – thus – the “translation” into computer code of a contract, which enables the automatic verification of the occurrence of certain conditions and the automatic execution of actions when the conditions determined between the parties are reached and determined.

Disintermediation and decentralization, together with the immutability of the data written on the distributed ledger and the distributed computing capacity, can thus benefit the travel and hospitality industry in the form of, for example: efficiency in the management of supply chains, optimization of processes (especially the more repetitive ones) for the benefit of the travellerand lowering barriers to entry for small entities and operators who can promote valuable initiatives related to their territories (e.g. wine, food, wine and cultural activities).

The possibility offered by the blockchain to support the creation and management of NFTs is a further opportunity for the travel and hospitality sector.

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An NFT is a digital token that allows its owner to claim the availability of an asset (tangible or intangible) while being able to exercise the rights associated with it or related to it. To give a very simple example, let’s think of a digital voucher that gives access to a certain website, or to take advantage of a preferred route, to unlock an experience and witness its authenticity. Despite being digital, our token is immune to the risk of replication, and therefore cannot be cloned, thanks to the very blockchain on which it was minted or exchanged.

With NFTs, therefore travel vouchers can be tokenised, by giving them an outlet in secondary markets, characterized by the special needs of the traveler (last minute, last chance, best-fit option, …). In addition (and here I raise my eyes slightly, and suggest the exercise of ‘lateral’ thinking), the use of NFT can be extremely functional in supporting adventure tourism, which enables a sharing of the story of the journey, the places visited and the relationship with destinations and territories that can be valued. The symbolization of emotions (to use a term I coined and explained in my last book “All About NFTs”Hoepli publisher), makes it possible to represent an authentic value, in a reputation key, which can “used”for example for storytelling when returning from the trip or after the experience, for the benefit of the destination, the operator and the tourist.

Finally, NFT and blockchain can also find an important use in business trip by streamlining certain processes. I think about the benefits that companies and employees can have in it ordering and reporting of expensesin accordance with company policies: notarization of expenses/travel contracts, smart contracts for control and compliance with rules, the advantage offered for corporate payments where fungible tokens are used – a kind of token currency that can be used on the basis of established rules -, which are controlled at the moment of the expenditure occurs).

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