The hotel group works to stay ahead of the game with cutting-edge technology
How important will blockchain be for the hotel industry in the coming years and why? We put the question to Christian Lundén, Director of Future Business, Nordic Choice Hotels.
We see blockchain as a possibility to add new services for guests and lower distribution costs in the future. It can be a very important technology in many other areas as well, such as loyalty and back office functions. Exactly what it will be and when it will be big is hard to tell but I see this as Internet was in the early 90’s. Using it right it can benefit many different industries and also combine industries. In the end, this will hopefully result in a gain for our guests in lower costs and better services.
EXACTLY WHAT IT WILL BE AND WHEN IT WILL BE BIG IS HARD TO TELL BUT I SEE THIS AS INTERNET WAS IN THE EARLY 90’S
What is Nordic Choice doing at the moment to stay ahead of the game?
We are now testing to put our room inventory on blockchain, to give access to everyone who would like to sell our rooms. This will benefit both new travel start-ups and big established companies. We also looking into how blockchain can be implemented in other areas within our industry. But we still think this is a B2B solution and it will take some time until our guest will (if they ever) need to know the technology behind their new services.
Please tell us more about this test run.
Today we are on a testnet with Winding Tree for one of our hotels (Hobo Hotel in Stockholm). Soon we will go live with rooms and we know that already more than 150 companies have signed up to be able to access this platform. Around summer this year, we will start to open up some kind of services for guest based on this.
What are the main advantages you can see coming from this?
We have not yet tested it live but the interest from the industry is huge and we are in dialogue every week with big companies, OTA’s, start-ups, organisations, media and so on. We are looking forward to seeing how fast this will grow and where we will be within a year.
What are your next steps?
Next step will be to set up a first guest facing service with some companies to let our guests start using the platform. We would also like to invite more hotel companies to the platform. Because being the only hotel chain on the platform makes no sense.
Photo: Christian Lundén – Director of Future Business, Nordic Choice Hotels