NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are one of the latest digital innovations and they are rapidly becoming a part of our lifestyle. While most NFTs are related to games, sports, and the burgeoning metaverse, we’re also starting to see NFTs for travel.
Hospitality Brands With NFTs
NFTs are still a relatively new concept that corporations and travel brands are just now beginning to focus on promoting. As a result, not many hospitality brands are minting NFTs. However, that trend appears to be changing as these individuals are accumulating these one-of-a-kind digital collectibles.
The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program unveiled its first NFT collection in December 2021 at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021.
There are three different items in this pioneer Power of Travel collection. Three winners at the unveiling won one of the works along with 200,000 Bonvoy points.
Ca’ di Dio
Venetian luxury hotel Ca’ di Dio used NFTs to help celebrate its grand opening in August 2021. Aspiring guests could bid on exclusive experiences through the OpenSeas marketplace.
Winning experiences allowed the lucky bidder and their travel party to have the entire property to themselves for a single night. Instead of keeping a paper memento to commemorate the occasion like in the past, the winners receive an NFT to validate their travel date.
Musicians and other businesses are taking a similar approach as the NFT uses blockchain technology to prevent fraud while offering unique VIP experiences like private dinners. Blockchain and NFT marketplaces also let the initial recipient sell the piece for cryptocurrency (usually Ethereum) at a later date.
Dream Hotel NFT Gallery
The Dream Hollywood hotel has the honor of launching the first NFT gallery in a hotel. This pop-up gallery was accessible to the public in August 2021 and later moved to Dream Downtown in New York City for the fall.
While the hotel brand didn’t issue its own NFTs, this feature helped raise awareness for the digital art space with the help of Crypt Gallery. The exhibit showcased how artists, marketplaces and collectors can help NFTs thrive in our increasingly digital world.
Latvian airline AirBaltic holds the title of being the world’s first airline to issue NFTs. The carrier’s collection launched in 2021 with OpenSea marketplace and features various cities across Latvia.
Unlike some offerings, there are multiple copies of each design. Specifically, 100 copies are available for each NFT collectible. Bidding starts at 0.01 ETH (ethereum) from the airline. Like a physical collectible, winning bidders will see their copy number to verify its authenticity.
Generic Travel NFTs
Artists are also creating general NFTs of landscapes and events that can substitute for a postcard or another keepsake. For example, you might buy an NFT from a museum you visit and some of the proceeds benefit a cause.
The metaverse is still in its early stages but is quickly becoming a virtual hangout to interact with others through digital real estate.
Decentraland is one of the most popular platforms and users can buy travel-related usernames on NFT marketplaces. One example is buying the name Travelocity but this name is not owned by the online booking site.
Iconic consumer brands like Coca-Cola are minting NFTs that users can buy to personalize this virtual world. We may see hospitality brands of many niches taking a similar approach so people can travel virtually and also promote their products.
NFTs are still in the early growth phase and current collectors are early adopters of this new trend. These first collectibles might be very valuable one day and it will be exciting to see what utility and exclusive experiences may come by building a collection.