The travel industry is now on the blockchain with the creation of IBM Travel Manager, the result of an alliance between IBM and the Travelport travel commerce platform.
As announced by Travelport and IBM last August, the new AI (artificial intelligence) platform is designed to help companies manage their corporate travel expenses, using IBM Watson‘s capabilities and offering IBM Cloud services to intelligently track, manage, predict and analyze travel costs in a single place to radically change the way companies manage and optimize their travel plans.
In essence, the project aims to implement blockchain technology in real use cases in the travel industry, taking advantage of its potential so as to collect and record data to create an ad hoc and revolutionary service for corporate managers and millennials that can use it for their travels.
Elizabeth Pollock, an industry leader in IBM Travel & Transportation customers, says: “IBM and Travelport are using the power of AI to unlock previously unavailable insights from multiple internal and external data sources. Travel managers can use this information to proactively drive improved supplier negotiations via real time and holistic data, enable budget holders to understand and change spending patterns, and improve travel policy compliance monitoring“.
Travelport’s Chief Architect, Mike Croucher, makes a connection to the importance of travel inspiration in the social media channels frequented by millennials.
In an interview with Forbes, Croucher describes how to implement the IBM Travel Manager result on Instagram:
“What if I were to click on an image or swipe up in a story, and able to then identify where my friend(s) is/are, cross-reference that with my location, and then spitting out a travel itinerary in getting to that destination along with flight prices? Talk about very little work to do, and I didn’t even have to jump on third-party vendor sites like Expedia or Travelocity“.
IBM and Travelport are ready to revolutionize the world of travel by using the blockchain as a true privacy database, integrating it with the creation of innovative services.
Croucher concludes: “Looking forward, if we were to integrate how the Blockchain works with that of a database and a crypto-key, we have a real winner. Imagine a world where you put all of your data into a databank. With a crypto-key allowing access to a particular block on the chain, where the recipient is accessing data that you as the data holder, decide to provide for a certain amount of time, before it expires. This isn’t tokenizing your data to the world, but rather, a new direction where with laws and GDPR regulations, consumers can take back ownership of their data“.
IBM Travel Manager will be marketed to the end customer through both IBM and Travelport.