Travel needs to get out of its “glass bubble” and see blockchain as the future, the boss of emerging distributed ledger marketplace Winding Tree told Phocuswright Europe.
Chief executive Maksim Izmaylov said: “If you are not excited about blockchain, then companies that are excited, that are researching it, playing with it, will be the future.
“What we need to do it not be excited about one particular technology, be that AI or chatbots or big data. It’s easy to get excited [about that] and lose track of what we need to do.
“You have to set up your companies in such a way that you are innovating constantly, that you are excited about these new things. Without that we cannot move.
“That’s something that’s missing in the travel industry. Look for ways to innovate faster. That’s what we need to do. That’s precisely what blockchain is all about.”
Izmaylov said blockchain enables firms to collaborate effectively and on a very large scale. “No other technology before allowed you to do that.
“This is the next step beyond just computers, beyond the internet. That’s the power blockchain technology has.
“We are creating a distribution platform first. It’s different from just a new OTA or GDS. Centralisation of data – we know what that leads to.
“I do not think that’s a version of the future I want to live in where one big company knows everything.
“If one big company has a breakthrough in AI – probably Google – we will live in a world controlled by one company. Blockchain has the power to prevent that.
“That’s something we are trying to do in the travel industry, to enable innovation, to prevent all sorts of problems such as data centralisation.
“If a few companies determine what we can and cannot do that’s a problem. That’s exactly why we are behind in travel.
“Get outside your glass bubble and see what’s out there and you will see you are 10 years behind because you cannot innovate fast enough in an environment that controlled by a few players.
“Be excited again about technology. Blockchain is definitely one of those things you can be excited about. It allows for incredible ideas.”