Non-fungible token (NFT) technology is meeting travel technology in the lobby of resorts and hotels with the launch of NFTs that hotel guests can buy, similar to how StubHub allows sellers to offer concert and sporting events tickets.
This new practice ensures that hotel owners get paid for their rooms, even when someone cancels their reservation at the last minute, because the guests sell those reservations in the digital asset market in an appeal to cryptocurrency enthusiasts, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday (May 24).
“We can reach another consumer that maybe isn’t booking through traditional means,” Jason Kycek, senior vice president with Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, a Dominican Republic resort that is planning to soon begin booking rooms with NFTs, said in the WSJ report.
Casa de Campo has signed with the startup Pinktada, which recently launched a booking system that includes hotels in the Caribbean, Mexico, San Francisco and Hawaii, the report says. Hotel guests can reserve rooms at those properties at a discount by buying NFTs through Pinktada. Travelers can use the tokens for other Pinktada hotels or sell them in the Pinktada network.
“You give hotel owners certainty of income, but give travelers the flexibility if their plans change to sell or swap tokens,” Mark Gordon, Pinktada’s co-founder and chief hospitality officer, said in the WSJ report.
Earlier this spring, Stay Open, which converts unutilized retail and office space into hostel-like lodgings, began selling 10,000 NFTs for one-tenth of an ethereum coin each, partly to open new locations. Each NFT includes one “stay token” for a free night at Stay Open’s Venice Beach, Calif., location or others the company plans to open.
Token owners can use them, give them as gifts or sell them, said Steve Shpilsky, Stay Open’s co-founder and chief executive.
These NFT options come at a time when travel metrics are picking back up again. Verra Mobility reported that its total revenue for the first quarter was up 90% year over year. The company’s organic service revenue grew 45% mainly due to improved travel demand.