The ITB, the world’s biggest travel trade show with over a 100.000 trade visitors from 180 countries took place in the beginning of March. This event in Berlin was visited again by a delegation of Hoteliers.com, for the 11th year on a row now! It is not only a good occasion to meet up with clients and partners, but also to keep up with the latest trends in travel technology. So what ‘s new this year?
Every year has its own trends, last year for instance, the buzzword was Artificial Intelligence and 2018 was all about Blockchain in travel. As most people don’t have a clue what Blockchain is about, let alone what it can do in travel, a little explanation might be good.
So here it is: with Blockchain you store your data in little pieces over a network of computers. If you want to change this data, your change has to be verified and approved by a large number of computers. In this way you can be sure your data is correct. If you store data in one place, it can easily be manipulated, so that is where the Blockchain comes in. Take for example Bitcoins: if you make a payment, your balance is checked and the transaction needs to be approved by a range of computers. All of these computers receive a little piece of Bitcoin as a reward for checking and approving the transaction, this is called mining.
But how can we use this Blockchain technology in travel? Well that’s where it gets difficult, although we can be sure this way of storing information is here to stay, there are not many clear thoughts so far on how we can use it for travel.
Of course it is interesting to think and talk about these topics, on the other hand however, a research was published showing that in some regions in Germany around 75% of the hotels don’t even offer the possibility to book online on their own website yet. We will probably have a new buzzword next year, but this research shows there is still a lot of work to do with the technology that we already have!