Business

Erik Gibbs

Russian autonomous region to use blockchain for tourism

Russia’s government may still not be ready to get its head wrapped around cryptocurrency, but there are those within the country that understand it. According to a report by Russian news outlet Tass, Yugra, an autonomous region in the country, is going to implement a blockchain-enabled tourism platform in order to track public spending and provide better transparency in the industry.

The new platform is to be born out of a partnership between the region and Universa, a blockchain startup. Universa CEO Alexander Borodich announced the new arrangement at a recent St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and a subsequent blog post by the company adds, “Tagging the money using distributed ledger technology will protect government grants and investments against misuse.”

The blog post further explains, “The platform will instantly track current spending and balance of funds under the project and generate automatic reports, ensuring investment transparency, which will make the region more attractive for investors.”

The platform will include a multi-language communications solution that will allow everyone in the region’s tourism industry to be part of a single digital ecosystem. This includes domestic and international tourist product and service suppliers, suppliers of accommodations and catering services, investors, business support foundations and even the tourists themselves. The blog post asserts, “The platform is aimed at designing and promoting tourist routes, hospitality and tourism facility in the region, monitoring the activities of tourist companies and accumulating a ‘pool of data’ that will help identify problem spots and ways to expand tourist flows.”

This isn’t the first time that the use of blockchain technology has been considered as a way to enhance Russia’s tourism industry. A year and a half ago, in November 2017, the country’s head of the Federal Agency for Tourism, Oleg Safonov, stated that blockchains could revolutionize the industry, but not much has happened since then.

On the other hand, Dubai may have heard Safanov’s remarks and decided to run with the ball. It has plans to implement a new business-to-business tourism-centered marketplace on the blockchain that is part of the country’s goal of being “ten years ahead of other world cities.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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