Imagine that you’re going on a short weekend trip – you worked hard all week as a psychotherapist, and you just need a chance to unwind. You’re ready to just sit back and relax with a good book (your favorite author is Hemingway). You’re a vegetarian, and you certainly want to make sure you can find something good to eat while you’re away.
A taxi arrives at your house to take you to the airport. When you get in, you close the door, and suddenly you realize – that’s Frank Sinatra on the radio! How did the driver know you like Jazz? Later, not too long into your flight, you get another surprise – the pretty girl sitting next to you is reading a biography of Ernest Hemingway. You have something to talk about already…
That evening, when you get to your hotel, the smiling receptionist hands you your personal guest packet. Inside you find the latest edition of “Psychology Today,” a magazine you have been reading for years, and a carefully prepared list of local restaurants with vegetarian options.
Currently, such care for the interests of the client seems like fantasy. But this fantasy may become reality in just 3 to 4 years.
Tourism of the future
Today, two-thirds of tourists report feeling stressed about vacation planning. On the other side of things, the tourism industry – the people providing the services themselves – are forced to spend huge amounts of money on digital marketing, particularly using Google and Facebook, every year to attract clients.
Tourists and travellers want a stress-free want to organize their vacation plans, while the tourist industry wants a straightforward and cost-effective way to advertise services. Recent technological developments have a solution: The integration of blockchain technology will ensure the satisfaction of the needs and desires of everybody.
A mixture of Blockchain technology, effective programming, and AI-algorithms will form a worldwide community where doing good for others is encouraged, and where travelling will become easier than ever before:
- Sharing experiences and your point-of-view: You have already, together with millions of other travellers, made hundreds of millions of online posts on various websites and mobile applications regarding your experiences with all types of businesses during your travels.
All around the world, an online community is forming that gives travellers the ability to make decisions independently. In the very near future, utilizing effective data-processing algorithms, opinions expressed in ratings, reviews, blogs, and social media posts, will be brought together to give an unbiased view of the best options for travellers at any destination.
- Levels of access to contacts: In this system, you will be able to decide for yourself how much information to provide, and what amount of personal information to make available to the community. Making certain information available can make other people’s, and your own travels all the richer.
For example, imagine you’re a travel blogger with a million followers on Instagram. On your profile, you display a list countries that you have visited, and a list of hotels, where you have stayed. In exchange, the hotels with allow you to stay again for free, or with a significant discount, hoping that your Instagram fans, seeing your pictures during your stay, will follow suit.
- Continuous improvement: More and more over the coming years. the information and data about your travels will be processed automatically by AI algorithms. As a result, the industry will be able to learn about your preferences with each action that your take.
When you post often about visits to Jazz clubs, the system will learn that this is the music you like and will suggest to your taxi driver to play this music for you. When you consistently purchase magazines about literature, it will learn to suggest to your flight attendant to hand you the New Yorker when you board a plane.
If you have indicated that you are vegetarian somewhere on your online profile, you will consistently receive a vegetarian menu when you arrive at any restaurant. Over time, you will begin to notice, when you are looking for somewhere to eat, that the search engine will automatically offer you restaurants with the type of vegetarian cuisine that you like the most – no matter where you are in the world.
- Data safety and consistency: Your data, like the data of everyone else in this system, will be reliably protected from third-party tampering because of blockchain tech. Data will be stored on a distributed registry, and personal data will be encrypted. Not only will data be secured, but it will be decentralized. Any fraud will be visible to everybody, right away. Gradually, nefariousness in the tourism industry will disappear forever.
Of course, it is essential that decisions about what information to share are your own. In the system that is being developed, you will be rewarded for your input (ie, the publication of content, or the provision of access to data) with tokens. These tokens can be used as a currency to pay for travel services, that have integrated with the system. Alternatively, the tokens could be converted to some cryptocurrency, or eventually to a fiat equivalent.
The more open and active you are with the community on the platform, the more rewards you will receive. The more genuine you are with the community, the more unique the offerings you’ll see from businesses, given all the data you have provided with your account. The data is collected and processed by the AI algorithm to give you the best possible travel options.
What happens with all this data?
“Traveling is broken up into “micro-experiences.” For example, during a single trip a traveller will interact with many different providers of services and businesses, including hotels and landlords, cruise liners and other transportation providers,” writes Adam Weissenberg, international director of travel, hotels, and leisure at Deloitte in a report titled “Tendencies that will define world tourism in 2017.”
Reservations for plane travel, tours, and nature excursions, visits to major world museums, hotel services, meals out, and Couchsurfing. During every trip there occur tens, sometimes hundreds of different interactions between clients and enterprises in the tourist industry. All of these interactions especially can be shared with the community.In this way, a database will gradually be collected of travel data.
Very soon, you will begin to notice how the world around you seems more comprehensible and friendly. And the more often that people follow your example, contributing more to the common good, the more available travel will become for everyone, and the process of planning a trip will become simpler and more interesting.
Despite the onset of the digital age, the main entry point when planning a trip is still Google: The traveller’s first inclination is to go to the search engine, enter the destination, name of their hotel, or the attraction they’re interested in, and wait for a result. Google has its own algorithm, providing results based on previous requests and the behaviour of the user on the network.
The Google algorithm is not adequate for the tourism of the future: In a world where technology is developing faster than ever before, the demand for smart, high-tech solutions is higher than ever. Research from SaberLabs confirms that “…the Blockchain can change public information’s form…”, and blockchain projects that resemble sites like Facebook and YouTube “… will restore the ownership of assets to individuals, guaranteeing freedom from censorship.”
This means that it is only possible to change the rules of the game in the tourism industry by weakening the power of monopolies and offering a new, alternative model for consolidating, storing, processing, exchanging and, of course, monetizing the data of all market participants.
Alexey Solovyev, COO, Travelchain