Former Abta chairman John McEwan has been named chairman of the Travel Ledger Alliance, the blockchain travel start-up founded by Dolphin Dynamics founder Roberto Da Re.
As well as leading the UK’s travel agent and tour operator association, McEwan is chairman of Holidaysplease, EFR Travel, Latin Routes and Travel Management Company, Amber Road, previously CTI.
He was also chief executive of travel agent consortium Advantage Travel Partnership and had previously held senior positions at Thomas Cook and Thomson.
McEwan said: “I am delighted to join Travel Ledger. The company is developing a revolutionary billing and payment structure that is safe, efficient and cost effective for buyers and sellers alike. It will transform global settlement systems and is built on a membership model.”
Travel Ledger is a blockchain based project building a distributed billing and settlement platform for the travel industry.
It said it is poised to announce more industry experts as advisors over the coming weeks as it starts to unveil more details about the next phase of the project.
Da Re, who will speak on a panel about blockchain’s impact on travel at tomorrow’s Travolution Summit in London, said: “I am very pleased to welcome John as chairman of our Advisory Board.
“John has an incredible breath of experience in the industry having run travel companies in all sectors, headed consortia, represented the industry and more recently advised investment funds.
“His experience in the wider travel space and understanding of how technology can impact the industry is invaluable to an initiative like Travel Ledger that wants to embrace all players within the travel ecosystem.”
The Travel Ledger platform will allow all billing records between buyers and sellers of travel products to be stored in a shared, decentralised and authenticated ledger, establishing a “single source of truth” for all parties.
It will also support settling or recording of payments in a secure and transparent manner.
Travel Ledger said firms that use it will not have to change their existing processes as all transactions will be completely invisible to the user and, depending on how automated their back office system is, it will further automate the travel purchasing and settlement process.
While the initial release will be focused on the delivery of the seller statement to the buyer, subsequent phases will focus on automating bank, credit and debit cards and even cryptocurrency payments.
The project is being built on the Ethereum platform which is currently considered the most mature and enterprise-ready smart contract platform.
The Travel Ledger Alliance will be the platform governing body, running the day to day operations and managing the platform for the benefit of its members.
The members and all parties providing support to the platform will benefit from several financial rewards with the objective of widening the adoption of the platform and lowering the cost for all members, as transactions increase.