by Martin Sabljak, Adel General Manager. Adel is a technology incubator for blockchain innovation.
Since 2007, traditional industries have faced unprecedented challenges in the form of digital disruption. Groundbreaking companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Twitter, FitBit, Glassdoor, Apple, SoundCloud were all launched at broadly the same time creating enormous benefits for consumers and changing the way traditional business models operate.
It has also created a growing awareness and backlash regarding the way in which personal data is monetised and stored in silos that are centralised and beyond their control. Data hacks and abuses in the way in which information is mishandled create growing concerns, leading more and more technologists and entrepreneurs to reconsider how future platforms are designed to empower customers and small business owners.
That aim to connect small business owners in the travel industry to interested tourists who would struggle to find relevant information using traditional centralised travel search engine platforms is what led to the creation of Siesta Cloud.
Small business owners looking to reach a broader client base currently have relatively few unsophisticated options available to them. Current portals fail to cater to services that focus on individual tastes and preferences, due to high development costs and smaller audiences. Online services such as travel bloggers, influencers, associations, and other organizations do not have proper ways to monetize their social media capital.
Their main method of revenue is to display commercials in their posts or opinions. Small business owners and influencers need a platform building low-cost travel services that complement their social media outreach.
From the perspective of guests, online offers almost always relate to costs and fail to differentiate between services and facilities offered. Guests and small businesses are at the mercy of search algorithms designed by millennials in Silicon Valley focused on monetary benefits and clicks instead of customer satisfaction.
It is within this context that Siesta Cloud was launched, travel platform offers are all too similar and invariably focus on accommodation, whereas travellers in most cases prefer to explore with friends and family-specific interests and excursions to historical sites.
Built on blockchain technology, Siesta Cloud has the potential to disrupt the online travel industry by changing the way in which customers and service providers are connected whilst eliminating the costs of middlemen (travel agencies, banks, credit card companies) etc. Blockchain also has the ability to reduce friction points in the travel industry’s supply chains and has the potential to reduce fees by as much as 30%.
The use of smart contracts could lead to the proliferation of new utility applications, enabling more sophisticated searching, and offer bookings over the blockchain where users and vendors decide the terms and conditions free from intermediaries.
The practical challenges of building an overarching blockchain platform connecting local vendors and travellers interested in local cultural events, historical sites, culinary specialties and other events are considerable.
Online marketing can be very complex and overwhelming for small business owners while local promotion using hotels is difficult, partly due to the necessary cooperation from property owners, unreliable information, human error, and commission-based competition.
Siesta Cloud communicates with several regional service market operators and their markets and reaches agreements with local vendors to provide content even when they are unable to achieve high traffic to their website.
Through this approach, Siesta Cloud aims to create a multifaceted approach for hospitality that goes beyond price differentiation. Guests will be able to search for accommodations, hospitality services and events that suit their individual hobbies and interests.
Search results will be filtered by many attributes to create personalized recommendations from like-minded guests with similar backgrounds and opinions enabling people to find accommodation and sites with likeminded people that would have previously needed agencies and groups to devise over longer periods of time.
Digitalisation of established industries in western economies is happening at an increasingly rapid rate. The fourth industrial revolution and the way in which car manufacturers, telecoms, financial services providers and other sectors adapt to the needs of an increasingly sophisticated digital user base will be one of the great economic transformations set to take place within the next generation.
Siesta Cloud envisages blockchain technology as holding the key to linking businesses with potential customers in a more sophisticated, transparent and focused manner compared to the current online platforms on offer.
The friction caused by intermediaries and inability for customers to properly “drill down” and search for holiday options that suit their interests means their needs aren’t being met, only those companies that construct business structures focused solely on their customer base will succeed in the long term. What shape that takes and role blockchain will play in it remains to be seen.