The second Web3 conference for the travel industry, Travel Un’chained, took place in Palma on October 9-11, 2023. This compelling event, initiated by Chain4Travel, serves as a platform for numerous experts, innovators, and leading decision-makers in tourism to share the latest trends and developments around the Camino Network, Web3 technologies, and their impact on the travel sector. Over 250 travel and technology managers from 160 leading tourism and tech companies attended this year’s Travel Un’chained event in Mallorca.
Central to the discussions were the latest developments of the Camino blockchain, a decentralized network steered by the travel industry, which went live in April 2023. To date, the Camino Network includes over 150 companies, where around 100 of these act as validators, actively influencing the network’s direction.
A highlight at Travel Un’chained 2023 was Ralf Usbeck, CEO of Chain4Travel, who presented the decentralized Camino Messenger, an exciting new feature of the Camino blockchain. This messenger solution allows travel companies to connect to the network and instantly sell and purchase across the entire network, using one, uniform and efficient messaging standard. This standard messaging solution reduces the need to maintain multiple direct connections. Camino Messenger also significantly decreases costs associated with connecting and maintaining numerous APIs for travel companies. It also enables rapid expansion of the product range and distribution, such as into new markets, through straightforward global collaboration with pre-verified travel companies in the Camino Network.
Camino Messenger operates with bots connected to each partner’s wallets. It sends encrypted search requests to the wallets of partners in the Camino Network. Partners, in turn, respond with offers, which are also encrypted. Bookings are stored on the blockchain with basic data, while further booking data is kept private and decentralized.
Partners along the customer journey can access the booking data as needed, enabling improved and more personalized customer service. The Messenger bridges the gap from Web2 to the Web3 world. Another highlight of the open-source Camino Messenger is the ability for providers to set micro-fees for queries, thereby monetizing data traffic.
As multi-faceted as the Camino project, the event featured a variety of other interesting sessions:
Industry leader Jens Bischof, CEO of Eurowings, shared his vision for the travel industry and the innovative approaches of startups like Chain4Travel. Benjamin Usinger, CMO of BitMEX, presented his expertise in the crypto market, and Manuel Saballus, CEO of technology specialist, Peakwork, revealed new approaches for services, trade, and customer loyalty programs.
On the topic of sustainability and blockchain, Marc Riley, CTO of DER Touristik Online, along with Lufthansa Group, shared insights and solutions from the DER Hackathon: In just a few days, developers used Camino Network technology to solve existing problems in selling Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), incentivizing customers through Eco-Rewards, and transparently tracking sales through SAF tokens. They even developed working prototypes.
Innovative startups were also represented, such as Sleap.io with CEO Michael Ros, the first Web3 OTArecently launched in the Camino Network. Sleap offers travelers unprecedented personalization by combining blockchain and AI technology.
Another intriguing and innovative approach was presented by Michael Hasler, CEO of Juice, introducing the new DeVest platform: Fractional ownership of assetsmakes shares more easily tradable, facilitating capital inflows into the industry.
Rob Groombridge of SH Financial illuminated the future of tokenizationand the opportunity to transform physical assets into digital tokens on the blockchain.
Web3 also has implications for data: Samuel Austin, CEO of Offsetdata, showcased the potential of the blockchain to collect verified, high-quality datato provide sufficient data quality to an AI and unlock new revenue streams for companies using AI support.
Practical Web3 expertise was shared by Vicktoria Klich, Co-founder of w3.fund and CEO of w3.vision. She discussed the future of cookiesand the opportunities Web3 technologies offer by allowing users to determine the sharing of personal data.
Ralf Usbeck, CEO of Chain4Travel, summed up: “Camino is a collaborative project within the travel industry with tremendous potential, synergies, and innovative approaches. Our plans are mid to long-term. It is impressive to see what we have achieved in just one year since our first event – from implementing the basic technology to launching the Camino Network and seeing the first use cases live on Camino.”
The Travel Un’chained conference provided a comprehensive insight into the opportunities and challenges that Web3 holds for the tourism industry. The future of the travel industry looks promising, thanks to the introduction of Web3 technologies and the industry’s ongoing collaboration.