Tourism is a $7 trillion industry which has a growing class of investors and is rapidly adapting to the new technologies. Firms are investing in blockchain technology to enable crypto transactions and build loyalty programs that reward customers with crypto coins. Blockchain-based platforms have been designed to streamline the business process and make it more efficient, as well as create opportunities for public-private partnerships in tourism.
So, before we continue, you might be wondering, what is an NFT?
Simple: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital objects that have code written into them that makes them unique. Each one is different, like an old-school baseball card. NFTs are becoming popular in the art world, as well as sport and video gaming. Each token is a unique, digital collectible item stored on a blockchain. It’s different from cryptocurrency because each one has a unique identifying code. When you buy one, there is a permanent record of ownership and digital evidence of its provenance. Like old-style baseball cards, they’re timestamped as soon as you get it, with every subsequent change – every trade and sale – recorded on the blockchain.
However, if you’ve been around the “cryptosphere” for a bit, you’re probably tired of hearing about how game-changing awesome NFTs are. Therefore, finding out about NFT markets can be a confusing experience. Tether, Tron, and Aurora have had their names in the news so much that it’s hard to spot the diamond among the rough. And then there are the scams — some people have already lost thousands to cryptocurrency scams. But as soon as you start looking around at NFT marketplaces, it’s easy to see what makes them so exciting.
Is It Tourism’s Turn for NFTs?
While the majority of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) so far have been built on top of the Ethereum blockchain (for example CryptoKitties and Etheremon), there are some that can be used in other industries. One of those industries is tourism.
The case of Olumide Gbnero and Nomada on Buka Buka
After last year’s cryptocurrency craze, it was only a matter of time before tourism caught up with the hype over non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and join the worlds of art and sport. The travel industry has grown tired of Olumide Gbenro. After attempting to sell 5,000 “non-fungible tokens,” or NFTs, to fund the development of an “Airbnb for elite nomads,” Gbenro has now been forced to change his approach. He will now scale it down tenfold and remain convinced that the wider travel industry will ultimately benefit from the NFT craze.
NFTs have been implemented in many industries, but lately, they’ve begun to gain traction in the travel and hospitality industry. Gbenro believes his attempt is the first to be used to crowdfund a development project. In essence, Bali-based Gbenro is using NFTs to crowdsource the resort’s development. For his second attempt, he aims to sell 500 NFTs, at about $2,500 each, raising $1.25 million to develop Nomada on Buka Buka, in partnership with local developer Thomas Despin, among others.
This example from Olumide Gbnero represents the potential for traditional hotels and B2B services to consider adopting NFTs through strategic partnerships, where NFTs are used in exchange to achieve some of the objectives.
Why The Luxury Tourism Industry Is Hoping To Disrupt Itself With Blockchain NFTs
The number of global crypto-millionaires has increased from just seven to more than 100,000 in the past three years. The meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies is a great opportunity for travel and tourism businesses to develop their customer base by leveraging the powerful combination of digital payment solutions.
Blockchain is the next big thing in travel. in fact, with the rise of the metaverse, blockchain will be instrumental in converting popular and niche travel destinations into digital avatars in NFTs. The possibilities are endless and are the primary reason many luxury tourism players are jumping onto the crypto bandwagon. Overall, the tokenization of the travel and tourism ecosystem is a first for the industry, especially considering the fact that hospitality businesses are traditionally asset-heavy and involve a high transaction cost. While developments in the blockchain space have garnered significant attention since 2017, there are relatively few blockchain-powered NFT solutions – both in travel and tourism and outside it—that have powered operations in the past.
The case of Lynkey, the global luxury vacation platform
Let’s take Lynkey as an example, a global platform that now powers luxury resort and vacation property with blockchain and AI tech. Lynkey, with direct access to certified and experienced designers, is leveraging blockchain technology to create a global system of community-based accountability and engagement to improve the property development lifecycle.
Lynkey is able to hold construction firms accountable and detect faults early, reducing costs and project delays, while also providing additional benefits such as decreased energy consumption and a reduction in ecological footprint. Additionally, this transition to blockchain and AI, leads to a transparent and automated booking procedure, lower overheads, increased security, and drastically lowers business costs as well as allowing people interested in investing in property to invest in assets that could help them get a passive income.