Travelport is a travel content distribution platform, taking travel content from providers including airlines, hotel properties and car hire companies, collating it, enhancing it and distributing it to over 68,000 travel agencies, travel management companies and on-line travel sites worldwide. The travel market is currently evolving, as travelers look for unique experiences and personalised offers from suppliers.
In the future Travelport believes that the customer experience will be underpinned by blockchain inspired technologies that provide the capability to link multiple content sources in the travel supply chain in a secure and transparent fashion, simplifying the booking and management experiences for agents and travelers. Travelport sees an opportunity to partner with organisations who are developing blockchain based travel capabilities to continue to develop its thinking on, and implementation of blockchain technology. Travelport believes that many of the initial implementations of blockchain based systems in the travel industry will be based on private permissioned distributed ledger technology (DLT). This will help to build knowledge and assess the technological suitability of blockchain based systems.
With our technology partners TCS, Travelport is exploring how it can better manage digital travel assets, such as flight bookings, hotel bookings, ground transport reservations, tours, or any travel experience, on and off a blockchain. Various travel suppliers and start-ups are experimenting with blockchain and distributed ledger solutions for creating these types of reservations. We have created a proof of concept called the ‘Digital Traveler 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.
Our proof of concept for the Digital Traveler Wallet deploys a travel manager application running on several nodes, which could be hosted by Travelport or by travel agencies. The travel manager application can interact with multiple distributed ledger and blockchain systems operated by airlines, hotels and other travel suppliers. Through a certificate exchange mechanism and public key cryptography, the travel manager retrieves reservations from the different ledgers and digitally signs them on behalf of the traveller. This creates a new transaction on the originating chain that assigns and guarantees the reservation to a traveller, who can then store them in their mobile wallet app. From their mobile device travellers can then view their itineraries, change reservations, transfer travel assets to other trusted travellers, and redeem them face-to-face using a secure key transfer mechanism that guarantees their identity.
Blockchain has the capability to change markets and enable new trust models within existing markets. Travelport believes that, as an established content provider it could become a trusted blockchain and distributed ledger exchange for travel content platform that gives the travel agent and the end traveler greater control of their unique travel experience.