Artificial intelligence-enabled travel platform Travelport, IBM and travel management company BCD Travel are jointly developing a blockchain platform to streamline hotel commission reconciliation.
According to a news release on Aug. 20, the companies are collaboratively working on the creation of a blockchain-based platform in a bid to optimize hotel commission processing. Specifically, the product is designed to track and account for the commission payments that hotels owe when travelers buy services through booking agencies.
Travelport and IBM are working within the framework of the IBM Garage — a consultation program for customers who want to experiment with new technologies and find new ways to build apps — with the participation of industry stakeholders aiming to bring the project to an active pilot program. Travelport’s senior product director Ross Vinograd said:
“Traveler modifications at property, no shows, and complimentary room nights are just a few examples that drive commission discrepancies which in turn generate escalations, cost, and revenue loss. Our aim is to put the lifecycle of a booking on the blockchain and we believe doing so will drive transparency, trust, and ultimately booking volume.”
On Aug. 20, Cointelegraph reported that Glenn Fogel — who was recently appointed CEO of Booking.com — believes blockchain-based currencies will continue to grow and could become more popular. When asked about the future of payment systems in travel, Fogel emphasized that it needs to be seamless, adding that data security must be prioritized.
World leaders in the travel industry are gradually turning to blockchain technology. Recently, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, partnered with blockchain-based travel platform Winding Tree to explore how blockchain can aid in distribution.