“Blockchain” is one of the main buzzwords you will come across these days. The term itself refers to dividing digital information into blocks, linking them together, and encrypting them for maximum safety. As the authors of “Blockchain Revolution”, Alex and Don Tapscott put it: “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value”.
While blockchain technology was originally designed for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, there are now numerous potential uses for it and many benefits that it can bring to various industries, the hospitality industry being one of them.
Experts claim that blockchain for hotels can be incredibly effective especially when it comes to hotel distribution and loyalty, which can greatly contribute to the success of your business in the long run. In this article, we will be focusing on different ways blockchain for hotels can help you increase productivity, effectiveness in terms of handling payments, and the overall customer satisfaction.
Why All the Hype?
First of all, this kind of hotel technology is expected to make global travel significantly faster, better, and more affordable. While blockchain technology is still a rather unexplored territory when it comes to the hospitality industry, it has the ability to facilitate and improve everything from hotel distribution to loyalty programs.
For example, tour operators can use it to track their hotel inventory more effectively, and airlines can use it for the tasks related to aircraft maintenance. However, it’s expected that this technology will first affect corporate travel and that leisure travel will follow next.
In fact, many people see the potential in blockchain to become a great alternative to OTAs – online travel agencies. If OTAs and their high commissions can be replaced with decentralized records of inventory, rates, and hotel availability – hotels will be able to greatly decrease their acquisition costs.
When it comes to hotel loyalty, however, using a blockchain system to share data can help hotels get a much closer insight into their guests’ profiles. For instance, hotels could scrape clients’ cryptocurrency wallets for information regarding their transactions, including data about rental car purchases, flights or various loyalty programs.
In addition, when you have an opportunity to keep track of your guests’ purchase behaviors, you can easily come up with customized rates and provide them with a customized booking experience. This is guaranteed to keep them satisfied with your services.
Theoretically, your clients can receive their compensation instantly, instead of waiting for their points to appear in their balance after some time. These instant transactions enable better cross-promotions with different vendors or partners.
How Your Hotel Can Benefit from Blockchain for Hotels
Some of the widely used hotel software can benefit from this blockchain technology and there are plenty of unique uses for it. Blockchain will allow hotels to achieve their ultimate goals, especially when it comes to:
Better Productivity – Every individual involved in the hospitality industry knows that administrative tasks can be rather time-consuming. On top of that, a complex and unreliable booking process can deter potential guests. Fortunately, with blockchain technology you can set up smart contracts where the process is mostly automated based on preset criteria.
Once the smart contract locates an available room that fits the customers’ needs, everything is booked and ready, money is taken from the user’s digital wallet, and people can even access their room from the app on their phone. No waiting and confirmations with the main desk staff necessary.
Better Odds for Smaller Players to Break into the Industry – Blockchain technology could allow people to build a transparent ledger of hotel offerings, one that anyone can freely access, making it easy for the customers to skip the middleman. Forgoing travel agencies and going straight to the hotel to book a room makes it cheaper for the customer, and allows startups to offer more competitive prices.
Trustworthy Relationships – The primary goal of every hotel should be to establish strong relationships with their guests. With blockchain, you can have several different loyalty programs on a single platform, allowing customers to rack up points for discounts on rooms, taxi fares, dining, travel expenses, and so on. The points could also be exchanged for cash or cryptocurrencies. This would create strong partnerships between businesses and even different industries that all depend heavily on tourism.
While blockchain for hotels is still a relatively new concept, it’s safe to say that it has the power to transform the way hotels do business.