One of the leading online travel agencies in Australia and New Zealand, Webjet, and technology giant Microsoft have announced the launch of a first-of-the-kind proof-of-concept (PoC) solution based on Blockchain technology and designed to transform the travel industry.
According to the announcement, this new solution can create a new industry standard, reduce costs, boost data security and reduce the risks of data inaccuracy, as well as having the potential to change the whole management system of online payments for hotel bookings.
The Managing director of Webjet, John Guscis, explained that hotel room wholesaling is a $100 billion marketplace, with millions of transactions taking place every day. However, this market can be prone to data discrepancies due to the volume of bookings passing through multiple systems.
“Working together with Microsoft, we discussed the challenges faced in our wholesale hotel environment and decided to explore blockchain as a solution to meet the needs of our business. Microsoft’s ongoing investments in building the industry’s most trusted cloud platform around the principles of security, privacy and control, compliance and transparency, along with its deep heritage in guiding businesses , including Webjet, through periods of significant IT transformation made the decision to go on this journey with Microsoft a no-brainer.”
Webjet’s new blockchain platform will be implemented in three phases. The first phase involves the PoC, now live, with Webjet’s Lots of Hotels and Sunhotel’s brands trialing the platform. The second will see the same brands trial blockchain’s automated features, processing thousands of transactions weekly . Following this, Lots of Hotels and Sunhotel’s will invite selected external parties to use the platform to demonstrate the benefits it delivers to the industry.
Microsoft Azure Chief Technology Officer, Mark Russinovich, said that Microsoft cares most deeply about computing technologies for both people and the organizations they build. Speaking about Microsoft’s relationship with Webjet he said:
“By working with Webjet to use our digital platform, together we have created an innovative Blockchain solution in Australia that has the potential to not only transform the travel industry but many other industries as well.”