The blockchain technology is set to re-engineer the way businesses and transactions are done in at least 10 industry sectors worldwide.
As early as 2015 companies are now starting to slowly realize the potential of the blockchain technology and are now investing in ways that such potential could be harnessed.
In the next few articles, we will be exploring some of these industry sectors that are set to benefit from the un-tapped benefits of a blockchain.
The first industry we are going to discuss and one that has comprehensive impact worldwide is the TRAVEL and TOURISM industry.
How can the travel and industry sector benefit from the promises of the blockchain technology.
If you consider the backbone of the tourism and travel, they may be divided into at least 4 nodes where they need to act seamlessly.
- Payments – without proper debiting procedures, thousands of hotels and destinations would not be able to operate and offer their unique packages to their travelers and guests. Right now the form of payments being received are in the form of cash and credit/debit cards.
While cash can be considered “king of all payments” as no establishment would deny any cash-carrying tourists, it can also make traveling a little cumbersome if there are no foreign exchanges in sight (have you arrived at a destination at 3am only to see the CLOSED signs of Foreign Exchanges?).
Granted that there are Foreign Exchanges at the airports – but have you experienced having different monies in the form of different currencies as you catch your flight home. You arrive at your destination and wonder what you are ever going to do with the singles in terms of Euro, Dollars and other denominations you have.
Or if you are a credit card owner… the tinge of hesitation you go through as you encode the secret number online – as you check for the nth time if the website you are logged is not a phishing site ready to steal your credit card identities.
Or how you are sitting in a restaurant and you ask to pay for the bill and you give them your card, and how 15 minutes later you wonder what is happening to your bill (and your card!) if some thieves are already scanning your card through their smartphones. One can get paranoid over these things as they are serious threat to your identity and possessions.
Or when you get home and see a bunch of purchases done on your credit card – and you have to call your credit card provider to cancel those dubious purchases. In some countries, it is even more difficult to contest those purchases and you may even end up paying for them.
While credit card companies are beginning to find stringent ways to protect the credit card holders, it is not un-common practice that you need to call your credit card bank and tell them that you need to have your card pre-authorized so you can use them overseas.
I had to do just that and called Citibank and Eastwest bank as I was preparing for my trip to the US – it was done with one caveat.
My credit cards are all pre-approved but I was given a warning. Should I lose my card or should it get stolen, all my purchases are considered approved. Particularly in the US where they rarely ask for any form of identification when you use your credit card. All of their credit card terminals no longer need any signature unlike most countries in Asia. So a stolen credit card with the embedded chip would mean, all charges are pre-approved whoever uses the card. Talk of getting paranoid despite having a supposedly very secure mechanism in place.
Now consider the benefit of using this blockchain technology in your travel payments.
It would be fast and it would be very secure. You can transact in the privacy of your room using your smartphone and your identity is very much protected. The encryption of the wallet address would be virtually impossible to copy through memory. And the un-editable blockchain could easily show the contestable transactions should it ever occur.
The blockchain technology would benefit the travelers as end users, and the hotels and destinations as service providers. The blockchain technology eliminates the need for any currency exchanges and the charges are no longer dependent on whether you are willing to be charged in dollars or pounds – as it is a currency in itself.
The future of the travel industry is about to change.
How you plan and prepare your travel arrangement would be largely and positively affected by the appropriation of this awesome technology called the blockchain.
Watch out for all these developments – as TOA is on its right track in pursuing these advantages.
PART 2 will be about Travel documentations and how blockchain technology would be an integral part of this critical aspect in the tourism and travel sector.