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Travelport and IBM Help on Blockchain for Hotel Commissions

August 21, 2019 at 6:00 PM | By Jit Sutradhar News

Travelport, a travel service provider for businesses and consumers, announced that it is using IBM Hyperledger Fabric to guarantee commissions paid to travel agencies.

According to a statement issued on August 20, the blockchain was designed with input from IBM, the travel management company BCD Travel and three unnamed hotel chains. The system aims to “put the life cycle of a reservation in the blockchain”, to reduce the amount of payment disputes.

In 2018, Travelport processed more than $ 83 billion in travel expenses of more than $ 2.4 billion in net revenue.

“The modifications of the travelers in the property, the absence of shows and the courtesy room nights are just some examples that generate discrepancies in the commissions that in turn generate escalations, costs and income losses,” said Ross Vinograd, Director Travelport Products Senior.

“The traveler can modify his reservation several times, leaving space for information to be lost. For example, if a traveler arrives and then extends the stay in a hotel, that information may not return to us as reservation data, ”said Marwan Batrouni, Vice President of Global Hotel Strategy, BCD Travel. In addition, blockchain will help close the “gaps” created by different payment systems.

Blockchain will track, manage and account for commissions owed to booking agents on behalf of hotel chains. Blockchain technology will ensure that payments are more accurate and faster than the current manual method.

If successful, this can improve the business of travel agencies, which currently wait 60 days after their clients leave to earn their commission. According to Travelport industry surveys, according to the Ledger Insights report, 34% of travel agents find conciliation and commission charging difficult.

Still in the proof-of-concept phase, during the next pilot test, IBM will host the nodes. If the project takes off, the hotels can host their own nodes.

In a separate statement anticipating the official announcement, Vinograd said:

“With travelers having endless options for accommodations, a booking alone is not enough to provide a commission to an agency… With blockchain, we’re able to reduce costs and ease burdens for all parties involved by improving transparency, accuracy and efficiencies to enhance the process.”

IBM image via CoinDesk archives

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