Russian Official: Blockchain Will ‘Seriously Change’ Tourism Industry

Sujha Sundararajan
Nov 7, 2017 at 14:30 UTC
Updated Nov 7, 2017 at 16:18 UTC
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Oleg Safonov, head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism, has predicted that blockchain technology will transform the country’s tourism market.

Speaking at the Kazan Tourism Forum 2017, Friday, Safonov said that the tourism industry is on the verge of transformation from new emerging technologies, blockchain in particular. In a report by Russian news agency Tass, he argued that the technology could be used to enhance the quality of services to tourists.

Safonov said:

“We are absolutely convinced in our federal agency that blockchain will seriously change the tourism market, although, in our opinion, it will happen not in two years but in 5–10 years.”

Elaborating on the nature of the changes that blockchain might bring, the official explained that new technologies like blockchain will allow tourists to work directly with service providers, thus eliminating the need for intermediaries.

“This makes the product better in quality, less expensive and also increases the provider’s responsibility for the product,” he added.

While cautious on cryptocurrency trading in the country, Russia looks favorably on blockchain technology more generally.

Last month, the government announced plans to test a blockchain-based land registry system early next year. Previously, Russia’s deputy prime minister has spoken about the government’s possible use of blockchain, saying the tech could see “broad use” in state administration.

Oleg Safonov image via Shutterstock

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