A few years back, the good old travel agency model was shaken to its core with the arrival of Airbnb and the online marketplace model focused on short-term homestays and experiences. The hospitality industry went through a shock that took years to adjust. With the rapid development of blockchain technology and the emergence of web3, the travel industry is ready to go through the same thing.
Tokenizing flight tickets
The primary and fundamental change will be the tokenization of flight tickets. People will be able to purchase airline tickets as nonfungible tokens. Is that just another way of possessing an e-ticket or having the boarding pass in your mobile wallet? Not exactly. Web3 technologies open up many opportunities for ticket usability.
Benefits of turning tickets into NFTs
We’ve discussed the top 5 NFT use cases beyond gaming and the future of NFTs. What’s the one common thread in all these scenarios? Ownership. No matter how it’s packaged or explained, the real utility and value of NFTs are giving owners actual ownership of an asset. How does that translate in the travel industry? Let’s see.
- Flyers will be able to auction, sell, trade and transfer tickets - Think of the situation as it currently stands. You buy a ticket, and yes, that’s your way of travelling, but do you actually own it? What happens if you want to change, exchange, sell, or trade it? That comes with a list of stipulations and exorbitant charges and fees. You essentially own one usability for that ticket with no flexibility on using it otherwise. Buying the ticket as an NFT opens the door to true ticket ownership. The ticket is yours to use as you wish.
- Airlines can earn more from secondary markets - Relinquishing control and giving true ownership to flyers means less money for airlines, right? Wrong. The beauty of web3 technology is that it benefits both parties in the transaction. The flyer is getting more out of their purchase, but so will the airlines. How? Through royalties. We’ve talked about the topic of web3 royalties in one of our recent articles regarding the web3 creator economy, but let us give you the gist. Every time an NFTicket is resold in the secondary market, the airline will collect a royalty based on the conditions defined in the smart contract.
- No more hidden fees - Picture the average user journey of today’s traveller. You hop on to an airline website, a metasearch engine, or a travel agency, and you type in destination and dates, being presented with tickets “starting from $xxx”. By the time you reach checkout, the initial number that appeared on your screen is nothing but a beautiful thought of a distant past. Why? Fees like baggage, being able to cancel the ticket, insurance, choosing your seat and more are extras that add to your final bill. With web3 technology, people can buy a holistic experience with one price attached to it. No more hidden fees or uncertainties regarding pricing.
Closing remarks: Not even the sky’s the limit for the travel industry
The ideas presented in this article are low-hanging fruit. These are the instant benefits we’ll see from the marriage of web3 with the travel industry. The potential is limitless, and there are use cases that we can’t even fathom at this point in time. Web2 was instrumental in making travel more accessible and simplifying the overall user experience. Web3 will unlock more value and help travellers get more out of their travel.
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