Perfect World teaches us an important lesson:
Transferability = a connected travel community.
Since the concept of Trippki launched, we have been spreading the word, speaking to travel experts, hotels and consumers, all around the world. On the technical side, we have put together a world leading team and our financial projections have come from our experience in real world hospitality rather than spread sheet projections from “evangelists” who don’t know the industry. A solid foundation to begin with, but what about the reaction of the hotel groups, both large and small, to the possibilities Trippki offers? To answer this, it is best to separate the two key aspects of Trippki:
- The booking platform.
- The blockchain-based rewards protocol.
The response to our vision for the Trippki booking platform and travel industry has been encouraging, and understandably so. Organisations can pay up to 30% commission for room bookings to large online travel agents (OTAs), but when you tell them that Trippki can deliver those same bookings for 10% commission (5% to Platform & 5% back to customer in TRIP Tokens), the feedback has been nothing but positive. This applies whether the organisation has hundreds of hotels across continents or is a boutique group in 2 or 5 cities. With this positive reaction, globally, we have rapidly moved to developing a minimum viable product (MVP) or beta version of the Trippki platform before we have even completed our token sale; something that is considered groundbreaking in the Crypto-industry.
When it comes to the rewards protocol the reaction has again been positive, but more nuanced, caused by a general misunderstanding. To understand this, it is important to take an overview of current hotel rewards systems and realise the differences between:
- and marketing schemes.
The loyalty scheme aims to recompense customers who are loyal to the brand. The rewards scheme can be seen as recompensing those who simply use the brand, and the marketing scheme can be seen as using both loyalty and rewards to boost sales. Obviously, there is an overlap between the three and different brands will emphasise different aspects to prove that their scheme is successful.
Despite this, statistics prove that most of these loyalty or rewards schemes and points redemption are underused. The benefits of the existing schemes’ formats to many hotel groups are therefore highly questionable and yearn for a new approach to benefit both parties; hotels and clients.
Our discussions with some of the larger hotel groups have centred on the attraction of having a rewards mechanism that is transferrable to other hotels (competitors). This is partly because certain hotels have exaggerated conceptions of the effectiveness of their own rewards programmes and partly because it seems counterproductive to reward their customers with a token that can be spent with a competitor. However, the goal for Trippki is to engage with all large hotel groups and share with them that TRIP can either sit alongside their own rewards programmes or that it is a better standalone alternative because of its transferability.
Immutability vs. transferability, which is best? One answer to this is the business lesson of Perfect World vs. Facebook in the early 2000’s. At the time, Perfect World was the social media site that everyone wanted to join. It seemed to be populated by a pantheon of beautiful people on yachts, in clubs, at glamorous parties – everywhere you wanted to be. The only issue was, you had to be invited to join. Meanwhile, the new kid on the block was Facebook and their attitude was that anyone could join, there is no exclusivity. In the world of social media, we know who the winner was, to such an extent that there is practically no trace of Perfect World today. If you have never heard of it that proves our point. Believe me, it was once the coolest kid on the block, if not on the blockchain. Trippki will eventually be the same for rewards programmes – limiting your rewards to be used only on your establishments, however widespread your network, will be equivalent to being offline, permanently.
Trippki’s closest “competitor” or comparator is the Airmiles scheme, where customers can earn Airmiles from purchases from a variety of different outlets and services. These can then be redeemed for flights, upgrades or related activities, such as luxury lounges. The key difference is that TRIP can be earned from any participating hotel or establishment, through bookings, referrals and affiliations or bought or exchanged and then can be used for any services, bookings, upgrades or indeed goods that any participant is offering. This makes TRIP an infinitely more flexible system than its closest “rival”. It is this flexibility and transferability of Trippki that we believe will define it as the next generation, smart “rewards” scheme, and the perfect use of blockchain technology to evolve the travel industry.
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Photos by Ross Parmly, Deanna Ritchie and Grant Ritchie on Unsplash