How are Amadeus exploring the blockchain revolution in travel

Blockchain, with its decentralised secure technology, is set to revolutionise many sectors, including travel. Although it remains at an early stage of development, companies such as Amadeus are exploring its use and we caught up with Sara Pavan, head of Amadeus Innovation Partnership Programme, to learn more:

TD: Could you start with your own description of blockchain technology and how it will change the travel industry?

Sara Pavan (SP): Blockchain is the technology that everybody is talking about today, like the ‘new industrial revolution’. I always go back to to the simple definition of blockchain: it’s a new way of exchanging digital transactions; as a decentralised database that is synchronised across multiple sites.

All the information stored is available to all participants, and is modified only through the consensus of the participants.

There are a lot of applications of blockchain across different industries, beyond the financial sector. I believe the travel industry is a good field of opportunity because it’s an ecosystem with multiple players that are interacting with each other across different points of the journey.

Each of those players, at a certain point in time, is exchanging and storing information and validating information with other players.

This creates a complex system of back-end processes – this can be significantly improved with blockchain and we have identified this line of innovation as a priority for a future activities.

TD: Which channels can be advanced most with blockchain technology?

SP: There are four focus areas within Amadeus that we think can bring significant value: baggage tracking; ID verification; loyalty programmes – both simplifying for programme owners and improving flexibility for end users; and international payment between travel agents and airline providers.

Loyalty programmes

Today, you are probably part of at least one loyalty programme and the process of using points is cumbersome. You do not know how many points you have accumulated, or how you can spend them, or when they will be accredited, and so on.

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