Mr. and Mrs. Blockchain, Traveling
The central character in Truman Capote’s novel “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is Holly Golightly who is an independent and rather mysterious person. The card on Holly’s mailbox reading “Holly Golightly, Travelling” suggested from the very beginning of the novel that this is a character who aims to escape the conventional existence. Leaving aside her romantic pursuits, she is a traveler in that endless search for a new location.
The novel was published in the late 50s, and like many of her contemporaries who wanted to travel, Holly might have made a phone call to book a hotel and her booking might have been recorded in a ledger of a travel agency or a hotel. Now, in our age of internet communication, a booking is quickly done online but some awkward situations cannot be avoided whatsoever.
‘I Can’t Find Your Booking’
This is one of the phrases a traveler hates to hear. You go through the trouble of flying half-way around the world and the hotel’s stupid reservation system can’t find your booking? Hmmm… or maybe you didn’t hit the book button twice, like you were meant to.
The fact is you are there, but your room is not. Well, you could always try this old line:
If Prince Charles was to walk in here right now you’d find a room for him, right? Well, he’s in Scotland this weekend, so I want his room.
But that’s not likely to work, and may even make your partner hate you, so maybe now’s the time to just suck it up and look for the nearest backpacker lodge.
On top of it, misfortunes never come singly. When you finally find a place to put down the suitcases, your credit card revolts and refuses to take the payment. How would you feel about a string of these alarming events? Low mood, anxiety and feeling as if you are going crazy. How to get out of it? Taking a sedative is a poor option as you might never know if these misfortunes happen again but you end up gulping down tons of pills. Indeed, you have to seriously consider the option that you never get into these bizarre events at all.
Before we consider a remedy, let us take a broad look at the travel industry. Online traveling services are considered very lucrative as they generate over 76% of the revenues from hotels, tours, and accommodation bookings, but as things stand now, this segment is controlled by five big players whose dominance allows them to set high fees and slow down progress.
The commission on platforms such as Booking.com and Airbnb.com runs up to 30% and sometimes even 50% of each booking made, which increases the cost for consumers and also reduces vendors’ earnings.
According to data, the travel and tourism industry contributed over $7.6 trillion to the global economy in 2016. The number of international tourists has grown more than twofold since 2005, and the trend is looking stronger than ever.
The Traveler’s Solution? The Blockchain
The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet. The second generation ushered in the blockchain. This technology is bringing us a new value: a new, distributed platform that can help us reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better.
The blockchain is a decentralized system, with no single entity controlling it. The blockchain servers are scattered across the globe, and there are no intermediaries. This computer network underpins the Bitcoin, one of the many new cryptocurrencies. No exchange rates apply either because cryptocurrencies are oblivious to borders. And because there are no intermediaries involved, monies are transferred instantly.
It is essentially a single, extremely secure, transparent global ledger. The network, rather than a third party, validates a transaction. This means that friction -and cost- can be reduced across the network. The technology is described today as a way of updating payment ledgers in multiple locations without a single, centralized authority.
Its promise has led companies to announce their plans to start working with the innovative blockchain solution. The Concierge project, for one, misses no opportunity to keep abreast of technology. It seeks to challenge the centralized online booking industry heavyweights for the benefit of travelers and service providers.
Concierge.io believes it has the power to reshape the booking industry. The new decentralized booking platform, which is based on the blockchain network NEO, will provide travelers and vendors with a friendly ecosystem where they can communicate and deal with each other directly. Concierge will level the field for small service providers and make high-quality offerings affordable for travelers.
Key features of the Concierge travel booking marketplace appeal both to travelers and vendors:
- Instant booking: No need to wait for 24 to 48 hours to get confirmation as blockchain technology allows live updates on availability.
- Economic efficiency: Considerably lower operational costs due to peer-to-peer communication.
- Easy integration: Web application and mobile platforms will work as a seamless whole.
Many business gurus argue that blockchain technology will transform not only travel industry but financial services in general, as well as the deep architecture of the corporation. The second era of the internet- the blockchain – has profound implications for competitiveness and business strategy. The travel industry, for one, is about to have a new lease on life.
Remember, we started off with Holly Golightly, a literary character from Truman Capote’s novel. The name she chose for herself is obviously a mix of words ‘go’ and ‘lightly’. These are the attributes of a fictitious character. Blockchain does it for real. Capturing your desire to travel lightly and change locations and lifestyles without fault or hesitation.
What are your thoughts on the Concierge.io platform? Can blockchain technology improve efficiency and reduce costs in the travel industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Concierge, Breakfast at Tiffany’s/Paramount Pictures