Travelport Partners with IBM to Use Blockchain for Hotel Commissions

Travelport, a business and consumer travel services provider, revealed it is utilizing IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric to ensure commissions paid to travel agencies.

A statement published on Tuesday said that the blockchain was designed with input from IBM, travel management firm BCD Travel, and three unnamed hotel chains. The framework intends to “put the lifecycle of a booking on the blockchain,” to decrease the number of payment disputes.

Last year, Travelport handled more than $83 billion of travel spend more than $2.4 billion in net revenue.

“Traveler 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,” said Travelport’s Senior Product Director, Ross Vinograd.

“The traveler can modify their booking multiple times, leaving room for information to go missing. For example, if a traveler arrives and then extends a hotel stay, that information might not make its way back to us as booking data,” said Marwan Batrouni, Vice President of Global Hotel Strategy, BCD Travel. In addition, blockchain will assist in closing the “gaps” made by several payments systems.

The blockchain will monitor, manage, and account for commissions owed to booking specialists on behalf of hotel chains. Blockchain tech will guarantee that payments are more precise and speedier than the present, manual method.

If effective, this may enhance business for travel specialists, who presently wait 60 days after their clients check out to earn their commission. Thirty-four percent of travel specialists find commission reconciliation and collection difficult, according to Travelport industry studies, as detailed by Ledger Insights.

Still in the proof-of-concept stage, amid the coming pilot testing, IBM will host the nodes. If the initiative gets off the ground, hotels will be able to have their own nodes.

Vinograd said in a separate statement:

“With travelers having endless options for accommodations, a booking alone is not enough to provide a commission to an agency… With blockchain, we’re able to reduce costs and ease burdens for all parties involved by improving transparency, accuracy and efficiencies to enhance the process.”