Value of blockchain for travel

Andy Bell,  Enterprise Business Architect, Travelport

The 2017 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies categorised blockchain as being in the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’. But is this true for the travel industry? At Travelport, architects have been investigating the implications of blockchain, both for their business and the wider travel sector.

In an industry built on trust and strong relationships, we started with an important question: Is there a role for blockchain?

To get to the bottom of this, we’ve been analysing the suitability of blockchain to manage on-boarding and management of travel content for secure distribution and selling. We have also been considering other potential use cases for the technology in our sector. Travelport predicts that in the short term, most blockchain developments will happen in closed supplier groups on private and permissioned chains within the travel industry. In the mid-to-long term, we may see payments, inventory and order management disrupted by blockchain or distributed ledger technologies. Whole trip management on blockchain, air settlement and combining of air supplier journeys, we see as a longer-term opportunity, anticipating further evolution within blockchain technology. The evolution of open standards around travel blockchains will drive advancements in these areas.

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