Blockchain Travel Platform Winding Tree Partners With Aruba

Blockchain, News | December 4, 2017 By:

The ATECH Foundation is partnering with Swiss blockchain travel platform Winding Tree to create a marketplace for travel booking in order to keep tourism revenue in Aruba.

Aruba is a Caribbean island 15 miles north off the coast of Venezuela. Aruba is one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao, and Saint Maarten. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad. It has a land area of 179 km2 and is densely populated, with a total of 102,484 inhabitants.

The Caribbean island sees 1.2 million visitors every year. But with the travel industry dominated by online travel agencies (OTAs), a significant amount of Aruba’s tourism revenue gets shipped offshore. The ATECH Foundation is planning to use Winding Tree’s blockchain-based decentralized open-source travel distribution platform to connect tourists directly with travel suppliers in an effort to eliminate all the middlemen.

ATECH is a for-purpose initiative with a mission to develop the startup and technology ecosystem in Aruba and the Caribbean region through community, an annual tech conference (education and network building), a startup accelerator, and seed funding. The foundation leverages its global network of investors and ecosystem builders to provide entrepreneurs in the region with an alternative launch pad.

Winding Tree’s platform would enable startups and companies to gain direct access to travel service providers’ offerings without the need for intermediaries. The platform connects buyers and sellers via a set of smart contracts and open-source tools in a non-rent-seeking manner without taking a transaction fee. At the same time, the participants of the Winding Tree platform are able to govern the platform collaboratively.

ATECH Foundation co-founder Varelie Croes said that eliminating the third parties in tourism could be especially beneficial for smaller nations.

“A platform like this can help countries like Aruba bring back some of the profits and tax it and actually keep the income at home,” said Croes. “The impact is significant to the economy.”

Last month, Winding Tree teamed with Air New Zealand, the flag carrier airline of the country, to explore blockchain for various applications such as retail airfares, cargo and baggage tracking, securing information and loyalty programs.