The Hospitality Industry in the Era of Web3: A Transition Towards Digital Transformation

01st Oct 2023

PuortoNB: This is an article written By : Simone Puorto


The emergence of Web3 technologies has ushered in a transformative wave across various industries, with luxury brands taking the lead in adopting these innovations. According to a recent study conducted by CoinGecko, 37% of apparel and luxury goods brands have already initiated strategies in the Web3 realm. As decentralized platforms, blockchain technology, and non-fungible tokens gain prominence, a pertinent question arises: Are we on the brink of witnessing a profound shift in established branding norms? This article explores the extent to which different industries, particularly the traditional travel and hospitality sectors, embrace Web3 technologies and how these innovations can be harnessed to their advantage.

Special thanks go to the contributors to this article: Adam Mogelonsky, Dave Dickson, Francesco Brasca, Julius Yls, Marco Antonio Lueg, Michael Cohen, Roberto Garavaglia, and Salman Halawi.

The Imperative for Technological Integration

Refusing to paint the entire hospitality industry with a broad brush is crucial, labeling it as slow to adapt to technological advancements. Many brands within the sector are actively exploring ways to harness the potential of next-generation internet technologies, whether publicly or privately. To avoid being relegated to late adopters, hotel companies must embed technology as an integral component of their organizational culture. Involving them in strategic planning meetings, entrusting them to execute bold changes, allocating resources for research and development, and making innovation an inseparable part of operational processes are essential steps. Once the human element is addressed, the benefits of Web3 technologies will naturally follow.

The advantages of Web3 technologies can be categorized into three primary areas:

  • Attracting new customers
  • Deepening engagement with existing customers
  • Establishing direct customer relationships without intermediaries

Notable use cases include the implementation of Web3-based rewards and loyalty programs, social impact marketing initiatives, and sustainability endeavors. These innovative approaches enable companies to foster lasting direct relationships with travelers, thereby contributing to the long-term value of their business.

Embracing Web3 for Industry Transformation

Web3 is undeniably reshaping the dynamic between brands and their clientele. Brands are transitioning from mere narrators of stories to active participants in those stories alongside their customers. Although traditionally considered a conservative industry, travel and hospitality are poised for significant transformation in the digital age. The term “traditional” inherently implies room for improvement, and while concerns have been raised about the potential reduction of personalization in tech-enabled environments, the focus should pivot towards backstage operations. Blockchain technology can potentially empower data management systems, facility touring can evolve into immersive Digital Twins experiences, and NFTs can facilitate seamless room bookings. However, the delay in adopting Web3 technologies in the travel industry carries repercussions. Failure to experiment with Web3 could result in the sector ceding market share to digital-first competitors, especially among tech-savvy younger customers. To remain relevant and competitive, hospitality brands must proactively explore integrating emerging technologies like AR and VR into their offerings. Traditional industry players need to bridge the gap and emerge as leaders in developing innovative services that will define the future of travel and leisure.

The Problem with Centralization

In its current state, the travel industry exhibits a high degree of centralization, with a handful of major players exerting significant control over room distribution, hotel reviews, and metasearch traffic. Web3 technologies can bring about several transformative changes in this context. Here are just a few:

  • Decentralized Marketplaces: These marketplaces facilitate diverse trading, generate secondary income streams, and enhance the travel experience.
  • Fighting Brand and Rate Leakage: Web3 applications can act as safeguards against unfair manipulation of availability, rates, and inventory, thereby protecting against brand and rate leakage.
  • Reviews 3.0: Tokenizing reviews can combat fake reviews and significantly enhance transparency within the industry.
  • Decentralized Loyalty Programs: These programs simplify the often complex loyalty systems in travel and hospitality, enabling travelers to seamlessly redeem rewards across multiple providers.

The hospitality and travel industry finds itself at a unique juncture, with the potential to harness Web3 technologies to enhance customer experiences and redefine established norms. Blockchain technology can ensure secure and transparent booking systems, NFTs can offer unique digital assets linked to travel experiences, and decentralized platforms can facilitate peer-to-peer interactions, reducing reliance on intermediaries and lowering operational costs. Furthermore, integrating NFTs with Internet of Things technology takes review verification to the next level. IoT devices, such as smart locks and sensors, can confirm a guest’s stay or participation in an activity, with data recorded on a blockchain for an immutable record. An NFT can represent this verified experience, adding credibility to reviews and providing service providers with valuable, verified feedback. DAOs can empower local communities in the travel and hospitality industry. Decentralized governance facilitates community-driven initiatives, promotes economic empowerment for local artisans and small business owners, preserves cultural heritage, and encourages sustainable tourism practices. Additionally, the decentralized nature of DAOs allows for agile decision-making to address changing circumstances.


In the boundless realm of possibility, the fusion of Web3 technologies with the travel and hospitality industry doesn’t just signify evolution; it marks the dawn of a thrilling new era where every journey is a story, every review is trustworthy, and every traveler becomes a part of the narrative. Welcome to the future of travel, where innovation knows no bounds, and the world is your canvas.

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