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Travelport, IBM, BCD Travel to develop blockchain solution for hotel commissions

Photo Credit: Thinstock

Thu, 22 Aug 2019, 07:23 am UTC

Travel technology company Travelport has partnered with IBM and travel management firm BCD Travel to develop a blockchain solution to guarantee commissions paid to travel agencies.

As per a press release, the platform, which will use IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric, aims “to put the lifecycle of a booking on blockchain” to reduce the occurrences of payment disputes. Specifically, it aims to track and account for the commission payments that hotels owe when travelers use the services of booking agencies.

Traveler modifications at property, no shows, and complimentary room nights are just a few examples that drive commission discrepancies which in turn generate escalations, cost, and revenue loss,” Ross Vinogard, Travelport’s Senior Product Director, said.

The three companies are reportedly working within the framework of IBM Garage. They developed a minimum viable product (MVP) solution using blockchain to streamline reconciliation between BCD and three high-profile hotel chains.

Blockchain technology applied to commission reconciliation has the potential to deliver real [return of investment] to both travel agency and the hotel,” Vinogard said.

Travelport and IBM, with participation from industry stakeholders, will allegedly transform the solution into an active pilot program.

Global distribution companies and providers would benefit from this use of blockchain technology to remove their never-ending work of reconciliation to spend that time adding new experiences and insights for travelers,” Kurt Wedgewood, IBM Blockhain Leader – Travel, said, emphasizing that the platform will allow businesses to shift its focus on what matters most: the traveler.

The use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is not new to the hotel industry. In June, bitcoin rewards shopping platform Lolli has partnered with major booking service Hotels.com that will enable global travelers to earn up to 3.5% bitcoin back from purchases made via the Lolli website.

TravelByBit, a company that allows users to book hotels and flights via cryptocurrencies, has also rolled out the beta version of its app last month. Users of the Binance-backed platform can now use bitcoin, litecoin, and binance coin to book over 1 million flights and hotels.

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