NFT and Travel
The impact of NFTs across the art and music industries is well documented, but how about the travel industry? Like other cryptocurrencies before it, multiple industries, such as travel, are likely to embrace it sooner than later.
Soon travel brands and companies might want to weigh in on the potential impact of NFTs and how they could benefit from the token. For example, if a person visits a tourist spot or historical landmark, travel brands may provide a digital souvenir through NFTs, such as a digital Colosseum or Leaning Tower of Pisa. (It would sure make the suitcase lighter.)
A lot of companies in the travel industry could benefit from these digital souvenirs, from travel agencies, museums, landmarks, and even restaurants that offer a product with a corresponding digital incentive. The principle is to create value out of a unique item and double it by combining physical and digital attributes.
The Future of Travel Is Here
IoTeX recently unveiled a solution called the "Pebble Tracker" that gives travellers the chance to cast exclusive and unique digital assets upon proof of travel. It's a system that works by capturing and "cryptographically" signing data from the physical world, i.e., climate, location, light, and motion. The idea is for the information to be verifiable to be assigned with a specific identity. The traveller who owns this data has exclusive access and control of it.
IoTex found a partner in Travala, a blockchain travel agency, to test Pebble Tracker, successfully recording their clients' travels on the blockchain. The point of it all is for a traveller to prove that he's been in a specific place (usually a landmark or historical site) at a highly specific time. Hence, no one's going to claim to have been there at that very same place and time.
But one question remains: what's the perk of collecting digital badges and proofs? The rationale behind NFTs in travel isn't surprising at all. It's like when travellers and tourists visit certain places to collect souvenirs in their physical form, i.e., native products, landmark magnets, and even printed shirts.
Only this time, the physical souvenir is replaced by a digital badge or wallet, where the owner shows off to his peers the irrefutable proof of having been there and done that.
Passports and Visas in NFTs?
We all have been a "fanboy" of a music artist or band, lining up for hours just to get an autographed merchandise. But some musicians are turning towards NFTs to make as much profit from their albums as possible. Instead of selling the album the traditional way, they mint a song and sell it as NFTs. Everyone gets to listen to that song, even download it online, but the one fan who bought it as NFT has the bragging rights of exclusively owning it.
Well, this relates to passports, visas, and driver's licenses – all of which are essentials in the travel industry. Paper books are an outdated form of information storage in the age of digital content. But that's how it works with passports when you're travelling to another country. The stamping process in airports never gets old, but it doesn't mean it shouldn't.
Traditional paper passports are meant to be authenticated using a centralized local system. The efficiency of this process relies on the system running smoothly. But with NFTs, delays and risks of a system malfunction are out of the picture. NFTs present a digital version of the paper passport with a fail-proof authentication that's never vulnerable to counterfeiting.
Driver's licenses, passports, and visas that are created using NFTs would be next to impossible to forge. Plus, travellers get a convenient solution in case they lose the device which contains their NFTs. All they must do is regenerate it via a digital portal. So, no more annoying visits to a government office and waiting for the new passport to arrive by mail. By looking at the impact of NFTs in multiple industries, it wouldn't be a surprise for this concept to find its way to the travel industry.