World Hotels has revealed to Hotelier Middle East that the mainstream introduction of blockchain technology across the global hotel industry would improve direct bookings.


Speaking at the Future BlockChain Summit at the Dubai World Trade Centre this week, president of World Hotels for the Switzerland Association Dimitris Argirakis spoke about whether the growing impact of blockchain technology had the potential to threaten the online travel agency market.

He talked about how blockchain systems are providing cheaper, more transparent travel solutions and that online travel agencies should be embracing the disruption to protect its market share.

Argirakis posed the question to the audience: “Who books rooms directly with hotel chains over online travel agencies?” With only one person putting their hand up, Argirakis described the reaction as “pitiful” to Hotelier Middle East.

“I prefer tourists to book direct through hotels rather than travel agencies as 40% of each booking costs around €300,000 for hotel chains on a global scale,” Argirakis told Hotelier Middle East.

Within the UAE, major hotel chains such as Emaar Group and the Atlantis hotel are working with blockchain firms to incorporate its systems into their hotels.

Recently, Dubai-based Emaar Group announced that it had been working with blockchain specialist Lykke to offer customers and its partners ‘Emaar community tokens’ by the end of this year.

Also speaking at the Future Blockchain Summit, Atlantis Hotel’s IT director Amir Kareshi revealed that it would be taking steps to introduce the technology outside of the hotel.