We went to the 2022 edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Tremplin.io took advantage of this event to discover new projects. It is therefore in a relaxed atmosphere that we offer you an interview with the founders of the project as well as a detailed article on it. Winding Tree is shaking up the current travel distribution system by offering a decentralized blockchain-based platform. This disruptive initiative aims to create an open market and competition open to all. Winding Tree proposes to modernize the travel industry by allowing small structures to align with large companies and multinationals.
Travel Industry: Current Market Conditions
Winding Tree was born from the realization that the current travel market is dominated by a handful of companies. The very ones who serve as intermediaries between suppliers (airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, etc.) and end consumers. This mode of operation imposes commission and transaction fees ranging from 10% to 25% on average. These intermediaries control at least 90% of the market. Everything is centralized, imposing these costs on the suppliers who will pass them on to the price of the offers.
Beyond the exorbitant fees, the existing system inhibits innovation in the travel industry. You should know that these intermediaries also hoard data. They accumulate them without giving them free access. The absence of open data, however, prevents the development of the industry and related innovations. The combination of these parameters creates too many fees and arbitrary rules. Faced with this, Winding Tree offers a completely decentralized system without recourse to any intermediary.
In a friendly atmosphere, discover our interview with the founders of the project during the edition of the Cannes Film Festival 2022.
Winding Tree, a decentralized B2B travel marketplace
Winding Tree is a blockchain-powered peer-to-peer travel distribution network. It is operated by a non-profit organization in Switzerland. Maksim Izmaylov, CEO of Winding Tree, started talking about this project in 2016, before making it happen a year later. The team launched the platform based on the Ethereum blockchain in June 2017. It closed the ICO (Initial Coin Offering, which corresponds to the first issue of tokens) on February 15, 2018. The platform was able to raise just over 14 million of dollars. Since then, Winding Tree has continued on its merry way.
Its decentralized B2B marketplace system gives startups and enterprises direct access to vendor offerings. With its open-source public blockchain architecture, the platform removes middlemen, unnecessary fees, and monopoly. This means cheaper trips for customers and more profits for suppliers. Winding Tree has created an open source blockchain with its own LIF token, used for governance as a transfer value. The platform emphasizes that it is not a new form of travel agency or booking app. Rather, it is defined as a vast network operating in complete transparency and opening up competition.
Development of the network of partners
The idea appeals. The many partnership contracts with Winding Tree testify to this. Lufthansa Group (which has some 300 subsidiaries) joined the adventure fairly quickly, in October 2017. This collaboration was established through a Lufthansa innovation hub. The latter aims to identify new technologies on which to capitalize. In the same year, Air France-KLM, a Franco-Dutch holding company, also partnered with Winding Tree. The company is convinced of one thing: the blockchain will bring a lot to the travel industry.
Winding Tree has signed agreements with many other leading airlines: Air Canada, Swiss Air, Swissport, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Air New Zealand. On the accommodation side, Nordic Choice Hotels is one of those who have embarked on the blockchain. The group, which operates nearly 40,000 rooms in Scandinavia, announced its collaboration with Winding Tree in December 2017. It is testing the platform with one of its establishments, Hobo Hotel, located in Stockholm. Customers have already been able to make reservations at this hotel via the public blockchain. And the adventure continues.
For many, blockchain technology is still difficult to understand and understand. It’s even intimidating at times. Nevertheless, the use of technology demonstrates its accessibility. Otherwise, winding tree highlights the enormous potential of blockchain and its ability to transform the travel industry.
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