The Benefits of Blockchain within the Hotel Industry
With tough competition in the industry, and smaller franchises trying to grow among the large networks, loyalty programs are becoming even more critical to attracting and retaining customers.
However, these programs face a number of challenges:
For hotels, they are costly and inefficient to run, they do not benefit the rest of the hotel’s services, and also lack backend analytics which could be used to improve customer experience.
From a guest’s point of view, these programs are not user friendly nor are they fully transparent especially when it comes to understanding what benefits the guest can obtain and how to spend their rewards. Navigating through the apps or websites can sometimes leave guests quite frustrated.
The hotel industry is behind in adopting new technologies; however, I strongly believe that Blockchain could bring added value to all parties in the ecosystem and address many of the challenges cited above.
Blockchain could become a decentralized application platform for all-in-one hotel management services and processes not solely limited to loyalty programs. Think how Blockchain could benefit hoteliers with customer booking, channel management, billing, reviews, infrastructure management (IOT), inventory management and accounting.
The implementation of Blockchain could take the customer experience to the next level by enabling a smooth system, making the process near real-time, and providing a secure environment through encryption and preventing double spending, fraud and data confidentiality issues.
The public key recorded using the application enables all open data to be viewed without personal details disclosed. It is the private key that opens up access to confidential information and smart contracts encode the commercial rules between the parties.
This process can also be mutualized at a low cost for independent hotels giving them access to a wide range of services and benefits.
What would it mean in real life to implement Blockchain at your hotel? A guest or an OTA makes a request to book a room specifying his or her virtual wallet. A smart contract automatically verifies the hotel room availability and checks whether or not the necessary funds are actually available. If the conditions are met, the smart contract remits money from the wallet, records the transaction, updates availability information, and sends a booking confirmation to the guest which will enable his or her digital room key. Post check-out, if any damages are found or product/services used, the smart contract will withdraw funds from the guest’s deposit account. No hard-copy paperwork throughout the transaction cycle and no need for financial reconciliation.
Managing Director of Hoist Group MEA
Original article found here.