Blockchain – Does It Have a Home in the Hospitality Industry?

Opinion | August 8, 2018 By:

Blockchain has recently emerged as a game-changing option that has fueled excitement across more industries than I can count. Why? Because it has the potential to turn the way we store and transfer data upside down by ensuring transparency and enhancing overall security. It also has the ability to improve the facilitation of transactions and overhaul the online review and market research systems. At the top of the list of industries ripe for change is hospitality. Let’s take a dive into the current state of the hospitality industry and how blockchain can transform it in the near future.

Presently, the hospitality industry is incredibly reliant on third party intermediaries, from transactions to the way people review and make decisions. As such, our information is being passed around like a pinball in a classic arcade game, sometimes falling into holes that are compromised. With the potential of all of that information being shared across the network, blockchain is making accessibility and storage of data significantly more reliable and easier to safely access. The safety of transactions is crucial in this industry, where the payment processing systems we’ve been using for decades are often too rigid or too soft.

With customers booking flights and hotels through third parties, the cause for security concerns in a time where our data is at risk is certainly real. One of the biggest selling points and advantages of blockchain is that it is decentralized, meaning data stored on the system can never be lost as a result of accidental human error, or from groups or individuals looking to carry out vicious cyber-attacks. Each transaction performed on the blockchain will be fully transparent and traceable, a major plus considering security is at the forefront of how business is conducted online. Blockchain has the ability to secure payments and eliminate the guesswork from the process, ensuring the safety and security of all parties involved.

Blockchain-based platforms are also beginning to streamline customer service processes. Have a complaint, suggestion or simply want to recount your experience? In today’s world where people trust online reviews almost as much as a personal recommendation, blockchain’s open storage can bring transparency and validity to an important facet of business. The utilization of blockchain technology will drastically change the process of people leaving fake reviews. The way market research is conducted is also an issue which has companies acting blindly when trying to improve their businesses without any direct, real insight into their true client base. This is where the tides will begin to turn, as hospitality is a multi-billion dollar industry.

When it comes to online reviews, the hospitality system is fractured and reviews are in disarray. Blockchain technology has the potential to change how the entire industry works. While the masses look to online reviews for guidance in making important decisions, the model we’ve come to know is not immune to manipulation. Using blockchain, the hospitality industry can eliminate rampant fake reviews by having authenticated, real ones stored on the network. A system where reviews can be stored safely and where they will be free of both human and AI manipulation is what’s needed, and blockchain is the answer.