How we're preparing for the blockchain revolution
We believe in a future where the customer experience is built on blockchain-inspired technologies. These technologies will provide the capability to link multiple content sources in the travel supply chain in a secure and transparent fashion, simplifying the booking and management experience for agents and travelers. Though blockchain is still a relatively new technology, we think it has the potential to change the travel market in the medium to long term and are actively preparing for that change.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is no more than a database technology that is distributed. It manages diverse ledgers across multiple companies in a way that eliminates the need for manual processing and other pain points.
What is Travelport's position on blockchain?
Travelport is actively investing in distributed ledger proof-of-concept projects with our technology partners. Travelport believes that it can position itself as an enabler between blockchain eco-systems used by travel providers.
Has Travelport developed any blockchain products?
We've teamed up with our technology partner TCS to create a proof of concept called the ‘Digital Traveller Wallet’ which can securely store and transact blockchain and non-blockchain based reservations. The Digital Traveller Wallet mobile app allows the traveller to securely manage, transfer, redeem and modify their travel booking, regardless of the source. Learn more here.
Travelport and IBM, together with partners including BCD are working to add hotel commissions on a distributed ledger, so that complex commission processes can become accurately, transparently and quickly settled. Travelport and IBM’s joint effort, “Commission Reconciliation Blockchain,” is currently collecting data from several major hotel brands who have signed-on to take the first step in an improved process tied with data clarity and timeliness. Learn more here.
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More about Blockchain
Blockchain represents a fundamental move away from ‘owned’ applications located in a data center or on ‘cloud’, to true distributed computing power in the hands of the participants of the network. This is why it is seen as a disruptor technology, it is a new transactional computing model, distributed – not centralized, and consensus driven rather than single controlling entity.
Validating traveler identity, facilitating payments for travel transactions, guaranteeing bookings and payments, B2B settlement and travel exchange are all travel industry use cases that are currently suitable for blockchain.
Based on the current developments in the travel market around blockchain, Travelport predicts that in the short term most developments will happen in closed supplier groups on private and permissioned chains within the travel industry. In the mid to long term we will see payments, inventory and order management disrupted by blockchain or distributed ledger technologies. We see complete trip management on blockchain as a longer term proposal; however, we are already applying blockchain to hotel commission settlement processes in such a way that it will likely enhance settlement processes for air and other non-air suppliers with agents.
Currently, we're focused on on-boarding and managing low value travel content for secure distribution and selling, developing and running a travel cryptocurrency wallet and asset exchange and determining how we can secure, anonymize and manage traveler identities across the travel eco-system.