Non-fungible tokens have marked a major shift in the technological landscape, essentially allowing for the distribution of verifiable and unique tokens that can represent just about anything. One of the latest trends in this evolving Web3 environment has seen the rise of NFTs within the travel industry. Effectively, representing anything from tickets, to hotel bookings and even tailored travel experiences. So, as the travel industry sits on the cusp of a digital revolution, let’s take a look at how NFTs can impact our global excursions!
About the Travel & Tour Industry
The travel and tour industry manages people traveling to other locations, locally or globally, for business or pleasure. The role of brands in this industry is to convey people to their destinations and arrange activities while they are there. The travel and tour industry is vast, with its functionalities extending to tourism and hospitality, where tourists are guided to aesthetic and monumental places of the world, state-of-the-art restaurants, hotels, ecological and conservation parks, and so on. However, the broadness and effectiveness of this industry can be greatly enhanced with the incorporation of NFTs.
Since NFTs are digital tokens created in the decentralized space, they can be used to promote the travel and tour industry in various capacities. Their incorporation will redefine the industry, resolve several operational bottlenecks, and enhance economic opportunities. Below are several ways that NFTs can promote the travel and tour industry.
Airline Tickets & Bookings
Unlike online bookings, offline bookings can be particularly stressful. However, both methods have their flaws, especially during busy vacation periods. Travelers often face delays or find themselves stranded due to inefficient bookings caused by downtime or congestion. To ensure a smooth and hassle-free traveling and booking experience, an innovative solution is to mint airline tickets as NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and offer them to travelers.
By connecting each NFT to a specific seat, the rarity of the ticket can be determined based on the class, including business, economy, premium economy, and first class. This groundbreaking initiative will revolutionize the airline ticket booking process, providing a seamless and flexible experience. Travelers will have the option to sell or transfer their NFT tickets if they are unable to travel. Notably, reputable brands that have embraced this initiative include:
Travala is a blockchain-based online travel agency where crypto enthusiasts can book flights with over 600 airlines using crypto payments. The company debuted in the NFT space with its Travel Tiger NFTs created on the Ethereum network. The NFT is a collection of 1,000 utility NFTs with perks like access to a luxury getaway in the Maldives, a VIP Singapore Grand Prix experience, a trip to Desroches Island in Seychelles, and lots more. Its recent Seychelles Travel Drop draw will earn a smart diamond member eight travel packages, including $3,000 flights for 2 adults, a Sunrise Yoga session, a Beach picnic, etc. According to an official report, the draw just ended on April 4, 2023, and the travel date is set for May 10 – December 20, 2023.
Flybondi is an Argentinian low-cost carrier airline issuing flight tickets with NFTs. The airline partnered with TravelX in 2022 to launch its Ticket 3.0 in March 2023. Ticket 3.0 is an NFT initiative that creates an NFT for each flight ticket issued to passengers. The flexible and utility NFT initiative was developed on the Algorand network, allowing passengers to sell or transfer their NFTickets and change their names.
Other reputable brands using this initiative include:
- Galileo Travel Futures
- Air Europa
- Travel Lucky Ape
Hotel and Restaurant Reservations
NFTs can also be utilized in making hotel and restaurant reservations. Essentially, providing a way to make a booking prior to leaving for the destination, and enabling holders to sell on their reservation in the event of an unexpected delay. Reputable brands adopting this initiative include:
- Flyfish Club (Manhattan, USA)
- Ca’ di Dio (Venice, Italy)
- Casa de Campo (Dominican Republic)
- Dream Hollywood Hotel (USA).
Brand Awareness and Promotions
The global society is tilting towards a digital community with the advent of blockchain technology, where everything can be digitized. Reputable travel and tour brands can enhance and expand their digital presence in the decentralized space via promotions and awareness. As such, the NFT is a perfect tool to achieve groundbreaking awareness with millions of potential audiences.
Like coupons and promo codes, this initiative can be achieved by creating utility NFTs that offer discounted services to potential travelers and tourists. Holders of such NFTs will have access to premium services and experience while paying less. The initiative is to retain clients and make a name for a brand with NFTs such as:
- AirBaltic is another reputable airline brand promoting NFTs. The brand is a Latvian airline that launched its collectible art NFTs in 2021, featuring Latvia cities for tourist attractions. In 2022, the airline released its Planies NFT for a customer loyalty program.
- Marriott Bonvoy, in collaboration with Erick Nicolay, JVY, and TXREK, used this campaign initiative during its Art Basel Miami Beach in 2021.
NFT Shares to Crowd-Fund Airline Projects and Service
Similar to how companies and organizations sell shares to fund projects for enhanced profits, aero-contractors can also sell shares in the form of NFTs that will be issued to shareholders. This initiative can be a portion of a fractionalized NFT or a single NFT representing shareholders’ stake in the company or organization. However, this fundraising initiative applies to restaurants, hotels, cafes, parks, and other tourism destinations. This will bond tourists to the local community of their destinations through NFTs that will symbolize shareholding.
To Promote Conservation in Tourism
NFTs can be instrumental in saving several animals from extinction through conservation. This initiative can be established by creating and selling NFTs for ecological and wild animal conservation awareness. Furthermore, this initiative can also protect endangered species of animals from poachers and extinction. Reputable brands utilizing this initiative include:
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
WWF is using its flagship NFAs (Non-Fungible Animals) to create awareness and fund the conservation of ten acutely endangered animals like the Cross River Gorilla, Amur Tiger, Vaquita, Mountain Gorilla, Baltic Porpoise, Giant Panda, Persian Leopard, Giant Ibis, Riverine Rabbit, and Saola. Developed on the Polygon network, approximately €273,886 has been raised to preserve these animals’ habitat, create new protected areas, or fight against poaching and overfishing.
In January 2022, WildEarth launched its Genesis collection of 25 animal NFTs, comprising 11 Leopards, 9 Lions, and 5 Hyenas from the Djuma Game Reserve in South Africa. The wildlife conservation initiative led to a Polygon-based NFT collection in which 40% of every NFT sold, and 8% royalty on secondary sales are paid to the custodian of the wildlife habitat. $13,900 has been generated for Djuma game reserve across 1,065 sold NFTs.
Unchained Elephants is another NFT initiative launched in 2021 towards rehabilitating and rescuing elephants from unethical tourism activities in Thailand. The concept of this NFT-driven conservation is to buy the freedom of captive elephants and fund secure habitats for elephants through NFT sales. 40% of all NFT sales (primary and secondary) are donated to this Ripple-based (XRP) initiative.
The flourishing NFT landscape keeps promoting several corporate enterprises with its perpetual functionalities. Several reputable travel and tour industry brands are adopting various NFT initiatives to promote their establishment and ramp up profits. This shows that more brands are likely to embrace the travel NFT initiative and help spearhead a Web3 revolution for the industry.
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Technical writer, an enthusiast for everything blockchain and decentralized world.
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