At this year’s ITB Berlin Convention, Norm Rose, President, Travel Tech Consulting takes a look at the potential for Blockchain and how this technology could transform distribution. We asked him to tell us more about this technology.
Innovation in the travel industry has been challenging. Despite the fact that many sectors publish Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) designed to enable third party developers to build software, these APIs are limited to the current infrastructure. Therefore new applications can only reflect the current capabilities of the underlying technology platforms. Blockchain has the potential to dramatically change the platform for distribution, settlement and identity but this will take a number of years (3-5 year minimum) to really have an impact.
What are the main principles of Blockchain?
Rather than utilising a central database to store all transactions, a copy of the ledger (record of the transaction) sits on all the computers on the blockchain network. If one copy of the ledger is attacked, the discrepancy is immediately caught protecting the data from fraud and bad actors. By its very nature the blockchain network is highly encrypted both with private and public keys that retains the anonymity of buyer and seller.
How will Blockchain change the industry?
The main areas of impact to the travel industry are around transparency and loyalty. Though all transactions are encrypted, a blockchain ledger entry is immutable.
Business can use the blockchain and cryptocurrency concept to transform loyalty programs into currency that can be used to buy any product or service. This is already underway as evidenced by the recent announcement from Singapore Airlines that it is to create a blockchain-based rewards programme for frequent flyers.
How important is the ITB Berlin Convention when it comes to educating and informing the industry?
ITB Berlin is an essential forum to understand changes in all aspects (business practices and technology) for the global travel and tourism industries
Photo: Norm Rose President, Travel Tech Consulting
BLOCKCHAIN: THE NEXT TECHNOLOGY DISRUPTION IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
Category: Future, Marketing
Date: March 7, 2018
Time: 5pm – 5.45pm
Location: Convention Hall 7.1b, Auditorium London