Aruba aiming to use blockchain technology for boosting tourism

Published on : Monday, December 4, 2017

indexAruba relies heavily on tourism, and with a population of a little more than 100,000, it gets 1.2 million visitors every year. But with the travel industry dominated by the likes of Expedia and Priceline, a few online travel agencies (OTAs) and airlines all controlling pricing, a sizeable amount of Aruba’s tourism revenue gets shipped offshore.

 

Hence, the organization responsible for fostering the island’s technical development, the ATECH Foundation, is aiming to change that by working with Swiss startup Winding Tree on a blockchain marketplace for travel booking.

 

The ATECH Foundation would like to use Winding Tree’s platform, built on ethereum’s public blockchain, for connecting tourists directly with travel suppliers, for getting rid of all the middlemen.

 

Eliminating the third parties in tourism might be beneficial for smaller nations.

 

Varelie Croes, ATECH Foundation co-founder said, “A platform like this can help countries like Aruba … bring back some of the profits and tax it and actually keep the income at home.” She added, “The impact is significant to the economy.”

 

If the blockchain system works, it would have a significant effect on Aruba’s bottom line, she said.

 

The island has been investing heavily in new technologies for making it better prepared for the future. Its Smart Island Strategy for the tourism industry, for example, has piloted biometric checks at airports and embraced renewable energy.

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