In today’s advancing global economy, the travel agency industry is doing quite well. According to data from Statista, the industry is projected to generate $17.3 billion in revenue by 2020 in the United States alone. The travel agency industry itself is part of a much larger global tourism industry, one that has a global economic contribution–whether direct, indirect, or inducted–of over $7.6 trillion worldwide. In 2015 alone the revenue from global international tourism was an astounding $1.3 trillion, almost doubling since 2005, despite the 2007-2008 global financial crisis.

According to Deloitte, the travel industry will only continue to grow. They are anticipating five percent growth in the US for 2018, equivalent to a record-breaking $370 billion by year’s end. The strong growth will be driven by a variety of factors, including strong consumer spending, high demand for corporate travel, and technological advancements.

In fact, Deloitte believes that blockchain technology could be a key driver this year. Their 2018 travel report notes, “Big players and startups alike are looking to blockchain for solutions to industry pain points, including streamlining online distribution and reimagined loyalty programs. The technology also has implications around travel payments, settlement, and fraud.” It’s no doubt that blockchain technology is an up-and-comer in the tech sector, and it is now looking to disrupt the highly lucrative travel industry.

Blockchain Distribution and its Impact on Traveling

One of the main benefits of booking a hotel, flight, or tour online is speed and convenience. No longer do travelers have to sit on the phone for hours trying to plan a vacation. With a little research and the click of a button, everything is taken care of. However, these websites and platforms typically have exorbitant fees because of the centralized third parties that need to take their cut.

Enter TravelChain, the core of a smart traveling ecosystem powered by blockchain technology. They are working to make travel cheaper for end users and more profitable for suppliers by harnessing the power of blockchain to cut out costly third parties. The major objective of the platform is to provide accessible and authentic smart data so businesses can better know their clients. This, in turn, will help travellers have the best experience possible and enable companies to provide top-notch customer service. TravelChain’s data-driven research will advise travelers when, how, and where they should travel. Travelers can earn TravelTokens when they share their own data with the decentralized database.

Travel Trips with a Decentralized Flavor

Another blockchain company looking to shake up the travel industry is Cool Cousin. Their proprietary platform lets “cousins” give travel tips and create guides on their hometowns. Visiting travelers who use the app can access these tips and guides for a small fee, denominated in CUZ coins. The platform gives locals the unique ability to earn money by showcasing their hometown, while visitors will be able to use one-of-a-kind local guides.

Cool Cousin’s primary blockchain development will be driven by smart contracts, which will facilitate a decentralized travel ecosystem. Smart contracts will serve as an immutable system of checks and balances in addition to facilitating transactions between travelers and cousins. The trustless, decentralized token, CUZ, removes any mediating third parties and paves the way for cross-border transactions and international payments. In the end, this equals more money in the pockets of cousins and lower costs for travelers. The decentralized nature of the platform means that the travel economy can be truly global and distributed.

Vacation Rentals Have Never Been So Affordable

Travelers can now book vacation rentals through cryptocribs, an Airbnb-esque platform that lets users pay entirely in cryptocurrencies. The platform facilitates truly peer-to-peer travel, allowing parties to interact directly without having a third party like Expedia or Airbnb take their cut. In addition, users play a vital role in what is called “reputation mining”. By booking stays and reviewing hosts, each user helps build the decentralized sharing community and gets rewarded for it.

One of cryptocribs’ overarching goals is to get cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts to connect in person. Not only will this foster trust between host and traveler, it can also help foster further crypto collaboration. As their website states, “It’s through sharing our homes and ideas with each other that we aim to create a unique, global crypto community.”

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