But don’t get too excited: it is not what you think.
Cancellations, especially those done last-minute, are a hotel’s worst nightmare. Empty rooms not only mean decreased revenue, but they may also impact a hotel’s ratings if it happens frequently. Apparently, nothing has worked so far, not even cancellation fees, leaving owners exasperated about how they can effectively manage the situation.
As adoption grows, NFTs are finding new and creative uses across industries. And the hospitality industry is the latest to unlock a new function: some hotels in the Dominican Republic and Hawaii are now allowing guests to make reservations through NFTs to avoid the cancellation challenge.
RNTs: the New NFTs for Hotels
In 2020, tech startup Pinktada launched with a promise to replace the “archaic and outdated reservation model” of the hospitality industry. So far, it has tested its revolutionary method in the Dominican Republic and Hawaii and plans to expand to San Francisco, Bahamas, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Cozumel among other locations.
Its model is quite simple. Guests make reservations at any of the hotels on the Pinktada network by purchasing Room-Night Tokens (RNTs). The RNTs would guarantee the buyer a specific room for a specified number of nights, which is exactly how traditional booking methods work.
The RNT model is a win-win for everyone. Once it has been purchased, the hotel receives value and it cannot lose the revenue from this booking regardless of whether or not the guest shows up. Guests on the other hand have the option of doing so much with their RNTs. They can sell it to other guests on the Pinktada platform at current market prices (which means they can make a profit if prices go higher); they can swap it for another room in another (participating) hotel. They can even transfer to someone else, all at no cost to the hotel.
There is a clause, however: RNTs can exchange hands “up until midnight local time two nights before the reservation in the time zone of the hotel.” In addition, the exchange can only happen among registered users on the Pinktada platform.
Is the future of Hotel Bookings here?
It’s still too early to say, but with all the uncertainty the world has faced in the last two years, adoption may happen faster than if this technology were introduced pre-2020.
Besides, no hotel likes cancellations. If RNTs ensure that they get to make a profit from all bookings without losing paying guests, then you just may be making a reservation with an NFT sooner rather than later.