Steven Hipwell on the ground-breaking potential of blockchain for the hospitality industry

Blockchain technology has evolved from solely being associated with cryptocurrencies. Recently there have been lots of high-profile thought leaders across all kinds of business sectors extolling the virtues of blockchain and the changes it can bring.

From media favourites like Elon Musk to industry specific experts such as the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, J Christopher Giancarlo, plenty of noise is being made about the disruptive potential of the new technology. Among these voices is the CEO of the TUI Group.

Blockchain and travel industry

Friedrick Joussen heads up the biggest leisure, travel and tourism company in the world. This is what he had to say about the likely effect of blockchain on the travel industry: “It will be very difficult for intermediaries [such as Airbnb and Expedia] to have sustainable business cases. These platforms build reach by spending billions on advertising, and then they create monopolistic margins on top of what they have as sales and marketing. They do offer great sales and marketing. Booking.com is a great brand, but they create superior margins because they have monopolistic structures. Blockchain destroys this.”

Concierge developing blockchain solution

The team behind Concierge.io has been quietly developing its global booking platform based on exactly this understanding. We not only have decades of experience in the global travel industry between us, but also a complete understanding of cryptocurrencies and the technology behind them.

By using blockchain as the founding basis for our platform, we can create something that will revolutionise the way people book their holidays. Loosening the hold of the five major conglomerates that are effectively setting prices, charges and reviews, we offer a viable, cheaper, better alternative.

Getting rid of the middleman

Concierge.io was conceived due to our understanding of current booking platforms. Most of the work carried out by sites like Expedia and Booking.com are purely middleman in nature. They provide very little value to the customer, and work to create a stranglehold on prices and benefits.

Using blockchain enables us to remove these unnecessary steps, costs and charges and allow the service to be delivered directly to the user.

Current online systems

It’s simple to understand the deficiencies of the current centralised online booking system. Sites such as Booking.com deliver a seemingly positive advantage to the consumer by offering an easy way to compare hotels, flights and excursions. This eliminated the need for the traditional travel agent and seemed to offer lower costs.

Airbnb took this model and pushed it a step further and brought it to private individuals to allow them to rent their properties as holiday lets. This again appeared to favour the user’s pocket. However, the centralisation of these sites means they can essentially set prices and charges and control the entire market.

In many cases, the fees set on the value of the transaction by the companies behind these sites can be as high as 45%, along with the 3% transaction processing fee that is always added.

This is a huge amount to charge people to use an online platform and is clearly not the best for the end user. However, the convenience of the booking sites mean people tend to use them anyway. After all, there’s little choice unless they go to a traditional travel agent.

Enter Concierge

By using blockchain ledger tech to build our platform, we can solve lots of these issues. Blockchains guarantee a trustworthy transaction and ultra-efficient financial transaction processing.

We are using these to automate as much of the holiday booking experience as possible. Users can buy our GCE tokens with fiat currency online or by a mobile app and then use it to book a hotel listed on the decentralised platform.

This allows us to massively reduce costs and generate benefits for customers. Not only will costs be lower for the customer, they will be happier, and we will be able to generate useful long-term data to accurately analyse customer trends.

Other services will also be available to book, ranging from excursions and guided tours to transport and overnight stays. Removing the possibility of biased reviews will allow users to have access to real data to inform their choices and increase transparency and relevant information.

Get involved

The CGE token is available now based on the NEO blockchain protocol and you can access it here.

By | 2018-04-16T10:41:10+00:00 April 12th, 2018|Blockchain, Steven Hipwell|0 Comments