Blockchain in travel hasn't disappeared, even if people are no longer obsessed with getting rich off of cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain was supposed to revolutionize industries across the world by reducing costs and bringing transparency to sectors that desperately need it.
It hasn’t happened, but travel isn’t giving up by still figuring out ways to apply the technology to loyalty programs, distribution, and unsexy things like reconciliation.
The U.S. government is also apparently keen on using blockchain to increase border security at airports. Check out my story below.
In a move that will have major ramifications in the global corporate travel market, Ebix is trying to take over Yatra to consolidate business travel services across India.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Editor
Airlines, Hotels and Innovation
U.S. Customs Wants to Use Blockchain for Travel Security Measures: As governments and big corporations adopt blockchain solutions to persistent challenges, one shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that blockchain’s ledger technology can be used to surveil and persecute travelers.
Why Ebix Wants to Buy India’s Corporate Travel Player Yatra for $336 Million: Ebix has made a generous takeover bid for Yatra, a corporate travel services provider and online travel agency, to create one of India’s largest end-to-end travel services businesses. Ebix’s shrewd CEO Robin Raina is cornering the rare travel segments in India that aren’t facing fierce price wars, namely, corporate travel services and currency exchange.
What Marriott’s CEO Had to Say About Airbnb, Amazon and Google: Unlike some of its hotel peers, Marriott isn’t giving up on its hopes of being the world’s favorite travel company.
Best Western’s New Corporate Brand BWH Hotel Group Signals Big Changes: BWH Hotel Group? That’s Best Western’s new corporate identity, the first change in decades and one that is designed to build its new image as a chain that can offer everything from mid-market to luxury.
How Marriott Plans to Supercharge Growth Starting With 1,700 New Hotels in 3 Years: Marriott says you really can have it all when it comes to a hotel company — both scale and quality. But can you really do that without sacrificing one for the other? Guess we’ll find out over the next three years.
The Dirty Business Targeting AirAsia Indonesia Just Got Dirtier: It appears that AirAsia has a bigger problem on its hands than it can possibly imagine. Now, even the largest local tour operators have stopped selling its flights on their online platforms. Whatever the outcome, one thing is clear: Online travel booking is such a powerful weapon.
The Future of Travel
Google’s Travel Services Aren’t a Focus of European Regulators Just Yet: Over the last couple of years, rumors have been flying around that the European Union wanted to take a closer look at Google’s travel tools. For now at least, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Ireland’s Travel Success Is Under Threat by Brexit: Whatever happens over the next few weeks, months, and years, Brexit has brought back some unpleasant memories and risks damaging the very united tourism that the north and the south in Ireland have worked so hard to build.
A Closer Look at Sonder’s Tech-Focused Bet on Next-Gen Rentals: Hotel-style accommodations brand Sonder has hit on a plausible business that uses technology to wring out inefficiencies from key processes. But several questions still hover around its model, as investment money gushes into the segment.
$34 Billion Purchase of Worldpay May Shake Up Travel Payments: Worldpay is one of the biggest players in processing cross-border payments, especially for travel companies. Fidelity National Information Services will buy Worldpay in a $34 billion deal that will be one of the largest transactions yet in the fast-consolidating payments sector. But if the merger distracts Worldpay from expanding in emerging markets, rivals might steal share.
Skift Senior Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.
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Photo credit: A foreign airline passenger is greeted by a Customs and Border Protection Officer at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia January 5, 2004. Tami Chappell / Reuters