In the following blog post we examine a hypothetical use case to illustrate how the Trippki reward system can work, and how it can significantly optimize and improve the existing state of hotel bookings. But first, let’s start by examining the current state of travel rewards.
The hotel booking market is highly centralized (in fact it is dominated by two players) which leads to suboptimal pricing. Trippki aims to solve this by developing the required common infrastructure which will allow anyone — be it a guest, a hotel or an online booking agent — to play their roles on a single, decentralized and even playing field. This will eliminate middlemen, therefore cutting costs and giving hotels more control over their prices.
Loyalty programs are almost useless today. They are over centralized, with each hotel maintaining their own type of loyalty points, while their redeemable value is controlled arbitrarily. On the Trippki platform we have the TRIP token which will act as a universal, fair, robust and trustworthy reputation system. This will allow loyalty and affiliation programs which use TRIP to place the entire strength, security and immutability of cryptocurrency in the hands of hotels, guests and agents alike.
By and by, this process will also bootstrap a whole new economy to the existing booking, reward loyalty and affiliation market. It will also fill this new financial ecosystem with fresh resources and incentives while allowing for simple, easy and robust value transfers between its different elements. Naturally, all of the above will optimize the market and lead to better prices for guests and higher profits for hotels and booking agents. Sounds great, right? So let’s see how this happens.
Enter the Guest
As the potential guest browses the booking site, she encounters great offers. Free of the monopoly’s chokehold, hotels can offer better prices and more lucrative rewards, represented as TRIP. Some of them may offer up to 20% of the price back as TRIP (not hard to imagine, considering that today some of them pay up to 30% to booking.com). It’s a compelling offer for the guest who goes ahead and books her stay. Arriving at the hotel, the hotel is ready, as she approaches the desk, an application on her phone is already using her key to verify her identity and examine her reputation (of which she currently has none, since this is a newly generated identity).
When the guest pays for her stay, the hotel will want to reward her with some TRIP, as promised on the booking site (and maybe more, depending on guest’s reputation). In the rosy pink future we propose, all hotels will purchase their TRIP on exchanges at a price that reflects the utility of the token. However during the bootstrapping phase, when the exchanges may be short on liquidity and the price may fluctuate wildly due to the token’s speculative value, there will be a need for a special service that can supply TRIP to hotels at a reasonable price so that they can continue, without interruption to reward guests.
Enter the Vault
The hotel’s back office suite, using software libraries lovingly developed by Trippki, will contact our reward service and transfer the value they wish to reward the guest with — in our case 20% of what he paid — at whatever currency was previously agreed upon between the hotel and the service. Since every step is linked to the guest’s identity, the service will easily receive cryptographic proof from all three parties i.e. the booking site, the hotel, and the guest, showing that this is indeed a legitimate reward. We call this Proof of Stay.
Trippki’s reward service will then examine the current price at external exchanges, and try to buy the required TRIP from there. However, since we are in the bootstrapping phase, let’s assume there aren’t enough TRIP to be had for a reasonable price. Therefore to meet the service’s demand for more TRIP a special transaction is constructed. Funds received from the hotel are used to buy TRIP from the Vault.
To those who forgot, the Vault holds a significant portion of the initially issued TRIP and its behavior is controlled by a smart contract. It will only sell those TRIP following certain business limitations (e.g. no more than x TRIP per hotel per day) to avoid premature depletion, and only for proven reward transactions credited to identified guests with a Proof of Stay.
Once the reward transaction is published and mined, the guest — using her key — has total control over their TRIP, either from the booking site, her handheld application, or any other software that interacts with the Ethereum blockchain.
Enter the Future
The guest got a good price and a cool reward that can be used immediately at the property or on a future visit to the same hotel or other participating destinations. She can also decide to store it for its speculative value. Who knows, maybe one day she will buy an entire hotel with the TRIP she earned during her first stay. No matter what she does with them, she can always prove her reputation and enjoy the benefits offered by the hotel, or any other hotel, for her loyalty.
The hotel has earned a happy customer, whom it was only able to tempt by getting out from under the thumb of the centralized, monopolized online booking market as well as providing hotels with an easy easy way to track and reward a guest’s loyalty. Something that will only become easier as the more tools are developed and made available.
Moreover, the hotel itself gathers a reputation for every reward transaction, so everyone can easily trade in TRIP and show off their fabulous reputation in a provable decentralized fashion.