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Are NFTs the Future of Hotel Bookings?

A Dominican Republic resort hotel wants to sell excess room nights through an experimental technology: Non-Fungible Tokens.
One hotel in the Dominican Republic is turning to the cryptocurrency world to reduce the number of rooms left vacant by last-minute cancellations.

 

The Wall Street Journal reports Casa de Campo Resort and Villas will begin selling non-fungible tokens to future guests to pre-sell available room nights.

 

NFT Sales Start at Room Cancellation Fee, With All Sales Final

One of the problems hoteliers faced during the pandemic was last-minute cancellations. Although several hotel chains changed their cancellation rules as a result, the result is still lost revenue through empty rooms.

 

To change this, Casa de Campo Resort and Villas are “selling” hotel room nights using NFTs through their partner, Pinktada. Under their plan, users can purchase NFTs through Pinktada for what the hotel would charge for a refundable reservation. Once purchased, the booking is final: Users cannot request a refund or cancellation if they can’t make their trip.

 

However, because the booking is set by the NFT, travelers can sell their booking to someone else on Pinktada. Transferring the NFT to another person allows them to take advantage of the booking without contacting the hotel to change the reservation. Regardless of who stays at the hotel, revenue for the hotel is guaranteed.

 

Executives for the hotel say using the blockchain technology is a new way to reach customers who “isn’t booking through traditional means.” In addition, they say the booking allows for more flexibility for travelers. With the ability to book travel and transfer or sell their stay if they can’t make it, both the hotel and Pinktada say travelers have the freedom to book now and change plans as life happens.

 

But what if nobody books the room at all? Pinktada says they will guarantee the rooms be being the “buyer-of-last-resort,” ensuring the hotel still gets paid for listing the empty rooms on the NFT platform.

 

More Travel Brands Experimenting with Cryptocurrency Space

The latest partnership with Pinktada is the latest example of hotels experimenting with the crypto space. In January 2022, startup airline Northern Pacific Airways announced their loyalty program would be in the form of cryptocurrency, guaranteed to be valued at no less than 0.2 cents per point.

 

Feature image courtesy: Andrey Metelev on Unsplash

7 Comments
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AllanJ June 16, 2022

Pinktada is not a household word like eBay or Stubhub so I as a traveler am leery about sending them money for one of these NFT hotel rooms and getting to the hotel and finding there is no room and no record of me. In other words no reliable buyer protection.

Better for me to make my reservation directly with a national  hotel chain or with a local travel agency. Not with an entity which requires that disputes be settled in their home town.

(Or does Pinktada guarantee the rooms by being the seller of last resort ensuring that the traveler still gets a place to stay by buying the empty room on the NFT platform?

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dtremit May 28, 2022

Pinktada appears to only let you resell your reservations through their own website — meaning there is absolutely no benefit to using blockchain in any way. It's just a resellable eticket.

Platforms like Tock have allowed the same for restaurant reservations for years, no blockchain in sight.

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jlc1978 May 27, 2022

Let me get this straight.  I pay for a room at refundable price, but instead of a room I get an NFT that is not refundable, but that I *might* be able to sell.   How do I benefit by that instead of simply getting a refund? 

If I book a cheap non-refundable rate, I could see some value in the off chance I could sell it to someone; but unless the hotel is already sold out the hotel loses the revenue from another booking if I sell mine, so there is no incentive for them to facilitate such a transaction.

Why is this someting a traveller would want?

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thatmikereed May 27, 2022

Can't wait for the "my wallet got hacked, someone stole my hotel room!" posts.

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BlueHenFlyer May 27, 2022

I also think that this is a sort of vaporware that's going to end up in the dustbin of travel history. Most of the money that flows into travel flows through business travelers, not vacationers. This "business plan" and speculative "product" is 100% geared to vacation travelers. I stay in 150+ hotel rooms a year. I really don't give a hoot about a 3D walkthrough. I can sketch you the base room from most major hotel chains from memory.