Near-Term Applications For NFTs
Hotels Have Opportunity To Profit From Latest Web3 Technologies
The tech world is firmly in the crypto winter, and yet the crypto spring is just beyond the horizon. What this means is that now that the veil has been lifted on the bloated prices for what has thus far amounted to glorified JPGs, blockchain-centric companies are forced to roll up their sleaves and think of real-world applications for web3 technologies. And despite all the skepticism, hotels can indeed profit immensely from these developments.
One domain of web3 that holds promise is non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which rely on blockchains to verify ownership or access to any number of specific assets or other triggers (such as royalties or algorithmically controlled voting rights). But promises are a universe of difference from realities, so here are four applications that can work in the very-near-term as well as other revenue growth solutions for the decade ahead.
- Enhancing the onsite experience. NFTs govern access, so you can attach a blockchain-driven exclusivity to certain amenities, all of which can be exchanged on secondary markets that require zero marginal labor on your side to upkeep. These perks can include membership clubs that combine private, ‘tokengated’ access to an onsite lounge with a secured online portal, preferential access to room upgrades, complimentary airport shuttles or early access to new product launches. And because all NFTs are unique, you can schedule these as vintages.
- Loyalty program marketplaces. Building on the first application, loyalty programs are no longer only one-to-many exchanges between the hotel company and the loyalty subscribers. Hyperledgers that are based by decentralized blockchains allow for a secondary market to emerge where said perks and enrollment can be resold based on their future value, with each resale divided amongst the individual owner and the hotel company.
- Digital twinning. Programming a hotel in the metaverse and incentivizing usage through NFT-based ownership offers yet one more path to improve onsite operations because that digital property usage can be more effectively tracked. This means that things like employee route optimization, security gaps and even preventative maintenance can be more precisely measured for greater efficiencies in the real world. Indeed, the term ‘digital twinning’ has already realized profound advantages to businesses like airplane manufacturers who can better monitor the wear and tear on their engines to more accurately predict scheduled upkeep.
- Crowdfunded cap raises. Recall the AAirpass launched by American Airlines in the late 80s where for $250,000 passholders received unlimited business class tickets on any of the airline’s flights. Flash forward to the post-pandemic and you can use NFTs to stamp crowdfunding efforts for certain large-scale projects, including renovations, greenfielding resort expansions or whole new developments. More specific to NFT version of the AAirpass, you can build such lavish programs targeting HNWIs like a million dollars for a lifetime of stays in any room or suite at any branded property with all F&B included with the underlying smart contract stating that each resale comes with an incremental price floor and a percent of sale back to the hotel. This may present an alternative to the existing bank loan system of finance.