Blockchain and the transformation of the travel industry

Amadeus says the blockchain has tremendous promise to change the way people can ‘exchange value’ digitally.

Imagine if a secure application let you share your passport information using a fingerprint when passing through airport security. What if you could have just one loyalty card to collect points from your favourite hotel, airline and rental car company?

These are just some of the ways Amadeus says the blockchain could transform the way people travel in the future in its latest insight paper.

The paper, which has contributions from blockchain startups Civic and Loyyal and was created through a series of interviews and desk research, identifies four potential use cases for the blockchain in travel including simplified and more secure passenger identification, improved baggage tracking, more user-friendly loyalty schemes, and simplified payments between travel agencies and airlines.

>See also: Blockchain: Helping secure digital identities

And although the blockchain is still in its early stages of development, the paper suggests that it has tremendous promise to change the way people can ‘exchange value’ digitally. Just as the internet’s design has allowed people to exchange information very easily and quickly, so could the blockchain open the door to a new iteration of computing that allows ‘value’, to be exchanged between businesses, governments and individuals.

Until now, that value has been actual currency, but this paper suggests the blockchain could be used to exchange travel identification, baggage tracking details, or loyalty points as well.

“This paper is designed to help shine a light on the many different areas of the travel industry where blockchain is beginning to have an impact, in addition to providing a window into the wider development of the blockchain industry itself. We hope this paper contributes to a greater understanding of blockchain’s potential and helps inspire the industry-wide collaboration necessary to bring these business cases to life,” says Katherine Grass, head of Amadeus Innovation & Ventures.

>See also: Blockchain technology: from hype to reality

This insight paper comes as the travel technology leader announces a new innovation approach on the eve of its 30 year anniversary. As part of this new approach, Amadeus has identified six core themes with the most potential to transform the travel industry.

As well as blockchain, these include extended content, improved conversion, messaging platforms, operations & performance, and disruptive forces. These themes were selected based on insight gleaned from conversations with hundreds of startups and customers throughout the company.

In tandem, and as part of this approach, Amadeus is also launching a new Innovation Partnership Programme, which will support growth stage companies working across these six themes to help them pilot their ideas, and if successful, to bring them to market faster.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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