NFTs may be a relatively new concept, but they have the potential to change the travel industry by multiple brand activations.
The travel industry has always been a fast-paced and constantly evolving space, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated these changes. As the industry recovers and adapts to the new normal, it’s important for companies to find innovative ways to stay ahead of the competition and meet the changing needs of travelers. One solution that has gained traction in recent years is the use of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
What are NFTs for the travel industry?
NFTs are digital assets that are unique and cannot be replaced or exchanged for other assets. They are built on blockchain technology, which allows them to be securely and transparently tracked and traded. NFTs can represent a wide range of assets, including art, music, collectibles, and more. In the travel industry, NFTs have the potential to be used for a variety of purposes, including booking and payment, customer loyalty, and brand building.
Benefits of NFTs in travel industry
There are several key benefits of using NFTs in the travel industry. Some of the most notable include:
- Streamlined bookings: NFTs can help to streamline the booking process by allowing travelers to easily track and confirm availability, as well as process payments securely and transparently. This can help to reduce the cost and complexity of the booking process, and protect against fraud.
- Customer loyalty: NFTs can be used to build customer loyalty by providing a secure and transparent platform for tracking and redeeming loyalty rewards. This can help travel companies retain customers and generate repeat business.
- Brand building: NFTs can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness and fostering a sense of community among travelers. By creating their own NFT ecosystems, travel brands can allow users to interact with and identify with the brand through NFTs. These NFTs can be interoperable with other platforms, allowing travelers to use them across a range of different travel-related services and experiences.
Applications of NFTs for travel brands
Using NFTs can increase travel businesses’ efficiency and competitiveness in a rapidly evolving market. There are several ways in which NFTs can be applied in the marketing strategy of a travel industry. Some of the most promising applications include:
Innovating Customer Rewards program through NFTs in the Travel Industry
NFT-based customer rewards programs are leading the way in innovative NFT uses in travel. Traditional loyalty schemes in the industry face challenges in managing customer data effectively. With NFTs, each customer is assigned a unique NFT containing their records, ensuring secure storage of information. The NFT can be utilized for check-ins, transactions, and loyalty point redemption at hospitality destinations or more.
Creating immersive digital universe to strengthen brand awareness
Another way that NFTs could be used to raise brand awareness and engage with customers is through the creation of a virtual museum featuring iconic planes from an airline’s history. Using 3D modeling, Augmented Reality social filters, virtual reality technology or miniverse, travels brands could create a fully immersive experience that allows customers to explore and learn about the history of their company’s planes. By offering this experience as a reward for loyal customers, they could encourage them to engage with their brand and create a sense of pride in their company’s legacy.
Collaborating and building partnerships with digital art creators
The Travel industry can maximize NFT marketing opportunities by building partnerships with talented digital artists. They can create unique digital artwork that can be sold or used as a prize in contests. Travel brands can as well commission an artist to produce work that aligns with their travel or marketing themes. Once the artwork is complete, they sell the NFT, use it as a marketing tool to generate media attention and link the NFT with a utility in real life.
Bringing ownership and raising funds with NFTs
NFTs in the travel industry will lead brands to discover the power of this technology in creating new ownership models and fundraising practices for the travel industry. We can imagine a new business model in which travel brands in general and airplane companies in particular can sell part of their property through the symbolization and recording of ownership with NFT sales. Utilizing NFT shares to involve the local community will foster a sense of attachment and investment in the success of the property. The same goes with the sale of NFT content as a means of quickly generating capital, which is especially important for businesses in the travel or even hospitality industries.
NFT use cases for travel companies and agencies
Airline companies are always looking for innovative ways to improve customer loyalty, build brand awareness, and stand out in a highly competitive market. One potential use case for NFTs in the airline industry is the creation of a loyalty program that leverages the security and transparency of blockchain technology. With an NFT-based loyalty program, customers could earn and redeem rewards in the form of unique, digital assets that are stored on the blockchain. These NFTs could represent a wide range of perks and benefits, such as free flights, upgraded seats, and access to exclusive events.
More than providing a secure and transparent platform for tracking and redeeming rewards, NFTs could also be used to create a sense of community among your airline’s most loyal customers. By offering exclusive NFTs that can only be earned through high levels of engagement and loyalty, travel brands could encourage customers to become more actively involved with their brand and create a sense of belonging. These following companies found a way to leverage Web3 technology to provide their customers with new ways to enjoy a travel company.
Travala Blockchain platform
This company is Pioneer in NFT Travel. As the world’s leading blockchain-based online travel agency, Travala offers over 90,000 travel destinations and accepts payment in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and traditional methods like credit and debit cards. Its early embrace of blockchain technology positioned the brand to be a leader in NFT travel marketing through its exclusive ‘Travel Tiger club“. Whitelisted members can purchase a unique NFT and use it as the key to access exclusive ‘Smart Diamond’ rewards, including discounts, bonuses, prize drops, and reward points.
The case of AirBaltic
AirBaltic, a Latvian airline, made headlines when it debuted its NFT travel marketing effort, highlighting some of Latvia’s cities as tourist hotspots. In 2021, the airline debuted a collection of NFT art tokens, showcasing the cities, and offered them for sale via an auction. The following year, the airline extended its NFT approach with the launch of “Planies“, NFT tokens serving as collectibles and linking to the airline’s customer loyalty program.
From those use cases, it looks more than relevant to leverage the security and transparency of blockchain technology through NFTs. These digital certificates can provide a range of benefits and applications for travel companies and travelers alike. As the industry continues to adapt and recover from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, NFTs may play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of travel.
To learn more on NFTs and their impact on other sectors, read PERFUME AND FRAGRANCE BRANDS: UTILIZING THE BENEFITS OF NFTS