With the advent of Bitcoin, blockchain technology has become a term that most of you have heard of. Apart from the surprising revenue earning scheme that Bitcoin turned out to be, its utility is far deeper.
Yes, it eradicates fraud when it comes to transactions carried out by banks and political parties but that’s just scratching the surface. To understand the utility it brings let’s break the word Blockchain into two:
An ingenious invention by the person or group of people know as the pseudonym A.K.A Satoshi Nakamoto. Quite the invention in itself which has involved into something of great utility, i.e provided you know how it works.
In general, blockchain can be described as an incorruptible, decentralized ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record anything of value and not just financial transactions. Starting life as the foundation of the cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, the utility it brings has been picked up for use in other sectors like Hospitality.
So how does it help the Hospitality Industry?
1. Better revenue management:
Companies have started using in house and private blockchain to handle internal processes and manage distribution of hotel inventory and other assets. In the near future, they aim to integrate this new revenue management infrastructure with their property management systems.
2. Inter organizational data management:
This represents a new way of gathering and collecting information. Thus, making it less about maintaining a centralised database and more about managing a system of record. This could be used to capture guest data from the PMS and feed it into the blockchain to form a sort of marketing tool that can enable one to one marketing with guests.
3. Only direct booking?:
This may come as good news for some hoteliers and travellers, but the online travel agents in the future might just be reduced to a directory for hotels. Then again, this is just a prediction. A company from Switzerland, Winding Tree, that aims to cut out Online Travel Agents from a consumer to supplier transaction, have already taken a step in this direction.
4. Audit Trails:
During online payments, companies are forced to secure the information they hold about the users. Blockchain lets you create a record of when and by who it has been accessed and let’s you set access restrictions as well. Thereby adding to the safety it could bring to a PMS.
5. Smart Contracting:
Distributed cloud storage seems to look like a major disruptor in data storage, courtesy of blockchain. Currently all the data stored on the cloud is done so in one location. Storj is a beta-testing cloud storage using a blockchain powered network to improve security. After encrypting the data, it is sent out to a network with easy to track, using basic Metadata. So that’s taking cloud tech which is a revolution it itself and making it even better
These are far from being adopted by the Hospitality industry as of this moment, but the fact of the matter is that we aren’t very far from this reality either. What are your views on blockchain? Heard of any other use cases in hospitality? Let us know in the comments below.
"Blockchain Technology and Its Uses in the Hospitality Industry",