German tourism group TUI is adopting blockchain technology into its payment systems to regain ground it has lost to online travel sites.
The company was slow to adapt to the internet and lost lucrative business as a result. TUI and its peers have been left as low-margin holiday suppliers.
TUI chief executive Fritz Joussen is determined to not fall behind again and believes blockchain technology, first developed as a public ledger of all transactions in the digital currency bitcoin, is the future.
“It looks as though we’re the first in the tourism industry to adopt it,” he said.
TUI wants to use blockchain technology to let tour operators directly access data on hotel capacity, cutting out middlemen such as Nasdaq-listed Expedia and Booking.com, a subsidiary of Priceline Group, which is also traded on Nasdaq.