Just when you thought post-pandemic travel couldn’t be more problematic, some hotels will soon be avoiding losing money from last-minute cancellations by converting room nights into nonfungible tokens or NFTs.
This means that instead of being able to re-book, you’ll be asked to sell your reservation as an NFT on a platform for room night NFTs, not unlike the StubHub market for concert and sporting event tickets. The conversion ensures that owners don’t lose money from extra last-minute inventory.
“We can reach another consumer that maybe isn’t booking through traditional means,” according to Jason Kycek, senior vice president of Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, a resort in the Dominican Republic that’s planning to soon adopt the strategy.
Casa de Ocampo will be partnering with Pinktada, a startup that recently launched a booking system with hotels in the Dominican Republic and Hawaii. The system, which calls itself a replacement for the “outdated model” of securing reservations, lets you buy a room-night token or RNT for a specific room for a specific period of time or set of nights.
Once you buy the RNT, it’s considered sold and final on the hotel’s side, and the hotel’s revenue is guaranteed, regardless if the room is used or not. As the traveler, once you buy, you won’t be able to cancel or rebook an RNT for a different room or a different dates. But, you can transfer, sell, or swap the RNT based on the live market price up to two days before check in.
Pinktada claims that it lets “travelers get access to discount prices without the risk of forfeiting their reservation if plans change.” But ultimately this will all depend on how the market will actually look like once it’s in full swing.
The RNT-based service is also planning on rolling out what they’re calling Marketplace, which will allow RNT enthusiasts(??) to buy the tokens in bulk and sell them on the site for the price of individual room nights. Like other forms of NFTs, RNTs will be subject to market price fluctuations. But unlike regular NFTs, RNTs come with an expiry date as a token obviously loses its value as the check in date looms.
What will they think of next?
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