Travelport has partnered with IBM Services, BCD Travel and major hotel chains to develop a blockchain solution to enhance the hotel commission reconciliation process for corporates.
The technology aims to optimise hotel commission processing on a distributed ledger by managing reconciliation, tracking and accounting for commission payments owed from hotel chains for services purchased by travellers via booking agencies. Travelport said it also creates an accurate and shared view of the booking status and commissions.
Blockchain technology has the ability to gather data and build upon it in real time to independently and securely report information to any number of parties based on permission.
Travelport says hotel commission reconciliation processes include a range of challenges from the operational lack of audit trails driving escalations and manual data mapping to the financial impairment of revenue forecasting and the more commercial impact on commission flexibility and duty of care.
According to the company, resolving such challenges can ensure customers receive an “optimal travel experience”, and blockchain is the ideal solution to address the issues.
Commenting on the solution, Travelport’s senior product director Ross Vinograd said: “Blockchain technology applied to commission reconciliation has the potential to deliver real ROI to both a travel agency and the hotel. Traveller modifications at property, no shows and complimentary room nights are just a few examples that drive commission discrepancies which in turn generate escalations, cost and revenue loss. Our aim is to put the lifecycle of a booking on the blockchain and we believe doing so will drive transparency, trust and ultimately booking volume.”
Kurt Wedgwood, IBM blockchain leader – travel, added: “Global distribution companies and providers would benefit from this use of blockchain technology to remove their never-ending work of reconciliation to spend that time adding new experiences and insights for the traveller. Eliminating the hours spend addressing dollars in dispute or the timeliness and accuracy of information allows all participants to focus on what matters most: the traveller.”