International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management | 2019

Blockchain: a paradigm shift in business practices



The purpose of this paper is to introduce and explore blockchain technology and its potential implementation to hospitality and tourism firms’ wide range of business operations and transactions from a technological and functional point of view. This study’s central interest is to produce novel and rigorous in-depth-review analysis and foundations for a broad discussion and outlook on the potential applications of blockchain technology benefiting hospitality and tourism research, as well as the industry as a whole.,This study identifies and proposes several potential areas of the adoption and implementation of blockchain technology to the hospitality and tourism industry, including payment and cryptocurrencies, tracking and service customization, the disintermediation of hospitality and tourism, innovative loyalty programs, smart contracts, integrated property management systems, verified rating and review systems, collaborative initiatives and due diligence and smart tourism, each of which represents fertile avenues for future research.,This paper provides extensive critical discussions, reviews and answers to a fundamental question: “What critical functions of Blockchain mechanisms can be implemented to the existing core operational (i.e. booking and reservation systems, guest management, etc.) and business functions (i.e. loyalty/reward programs, agent transactions, etc.) of hospitality and tourism companies?”.,Future studies should specifically delve further into various angles of this “BizTech” environment based not only on business operations and competition but also on vendor and customer collaboration.,This study intends to serve as a guidance for future research, facilitate knowledge accumulation and create a new understanding and awareness in both practice and academia. One of the most important applications of blockchain in this industry would be that pertaining to direct booking, online reservation systems (i.e. airlines and online travel agencies) and check-in/out with digital identities. With industry-wide blockchain adoption, guests’ personal information can be digitally validated, saved and secured as previously established cryptographically secured codes verify one’s identity without disclosing essential personal information.,It is obvious that the hospitality and tourism industry needs urgent technological transformation, industrial innovations and new growth avenues such as the adoption of blockchain technology and systems to maintain its global market share in the future. Therefore, the implementation of blockchain systems can promote the formation of multi-center (i.e. guest operations and customer service), weakly intermediated (i.e. loyalty programs and/or review and rating systems) areas in this industry.

Volume 32
Pages 953-975
DOI 10.1108/ijchm-12-2018-0958
Language English
Journal International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

Full Text