Technology

“That middle-man model needs to evolve”: Troovo CEO says blockchain can solve inefficiencies

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

It’s a technology that boasts a quarter-trillion-dollar industry gradually growing in importance, but why should the travel sector join the blockchain craze?

Put simply, travel needs new technology to update old ones and to fix inefficiencies, according to Troovo CEO Kurt Knackstedt. And blockchain could be the answer.

At its most basic level, blockchain is a chain of digital blocks of information stored in a public database. These blocks store information about transactions like date, time and payment amounts.

The key difference between blockchain and regular payment models is that it is decentralised and nearly impossible to crack.

“There are a huge number of applications, practical and strategic, with respect to blockchain from a travel perspective,” Knackstedt said during his presentation at the Travel Tech. Summit 2019 in Sydney last week.

While the improvements a decentralised business model can offer are abundant, the main benefits in travel include improving trust with consumers, reducing intermediaries, increasing fraud resistance, transparency and robustness, and reducing friction.

Troovo’s Kurt Knackstedt speaking at the Travel Tech. Summit 2019

Blockchain could also enable travel companies to return to customer focus by shifting the emphasis away from “grunt work” and cost-inflating models, Knackstedt explained.

“That middle-man model needs to evolve. Middle services are in industries because of inefficiencies … and we think there is a lot of application for blockchain to help make some of those inefficiencies less of an issue for the industry,” he said.

“Ultimately, if we can find ways to remove inefficiencies, then we can redeploy that capacity in other areas, which is more beneficial to our end customers.

“When people in the industry are afraid of technology because they’re worried it’s going to replace their role, the challenge is whether their role was relevant still in the first place.

“Because if there is a way that technology can make that role not all about churning out grunt work, and rather servicing the customer, which is the ultimate responsibility of the travel industry, isn’t that a better thing?”

A range of existing efforts to incorporate blockchain are ongoing in the travel industry.

Webjet is currently working alongside Microsoft to incorporate it. TUI Group and Blockskye are working with ATPCO, and Smart Hotel Rate with Troovo and Consensys. While major German airline Lufthansa and French national carrier Air France are working with open-source travel distribution platform Winding Tree.

In November, minor German carrier Hahn Air became the first airline in the world to issue a real-world ticket enabled by blockchain technology, utilising open-source travel distribution platform Winding Tree.

Hahn Air is also the first airline to fly passengers holding blockchain-powered tickets.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Cruise

Carnival president slams NSW government’s “bitterly disappointing” treatment of cruise industry

by Ali Coulton

Sture Myrmell says the state government is not only putting remaining crew members at risk, but also impacting the cruise industry as a whole.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas under investigation following cleaner’s suspension

Following news that ASIC would investigate Qantas, SafeWork NSW has launched a probe into the suspension of an aircraft cleaner who was employed by the national carrier.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“The world will soon return”: Abu Dhabi says city’s silence is a time for reflection

by Christian Fleetwood

Abu Dhabi has released a message of hope, looking forward to the moment the emirate can welcome the world again.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: Empty Welsh streets taken over by tribe of goats

In the deserted streets of Llandudno in northern Wales, where residents are on lockdown, goats have descended from the Great Orme and into the town.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Webjet pulls plug on cruise sales business, actions 440-plus redundancies

by Huntley Mitchell

The online travel company has resumed trading on the ASX, but not before detailing some harsh measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott suffers data breach involving 5.2 million guests

What started as a headache for Marriott’s boss amid the COVID-19 crisis has turned into a migraine following this unfortunate news.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Former Qantas employee creates online jobs hub

As millions of Australians face sudden unemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis, an ex-Qantas employee has taken direct action.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Railbookers to host webinar watch parties

If you’re missing the bubbling social circuit of travel industry events, we have some good news for you!

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

WIN THE GIN: Cruise & Maritime Voyages helps keep agents’ spirits up

The cruise line is encouraging agents to keep their ‘gins up’ with this fantastic new ‘GINCENTIVE’! And if you think those puns are bad, just wait until you read the article.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA welcomes latest government support, keeps pressure on

Jayson Westbury said that while the new JobKeeper payment is “definitely a very welcome step”, the industry body is trying to unlock even more support for agents.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

ASIC to investigate Virgin-Qantas stoush, as airlines jostle for billion-dollar bailouts

by Huntley Mitchell

Have you been eagerly awaiting an update on the tit-for-tat between Qantas and Virgin? Well, enjoy this drama-filled explainer in all its spiciness.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Baggage handlers test positive for COVID-19 at Adelaide Airport

by Christian Fleetwood

Anyone who travelled through the airport over the past few days has been advised to wipe their luggage.

Share

CommentComments