Aruba is working with Swiss startup Winding Tree on a blockchain solution to disintermediate travel agencies such as Expedia and Priceline and connect tourists directly with travel suppliers. If successful, it would be the first fully implemented blockchain-based marketplace for travel.
Blockchain has been of particular interest in its search. Most notably, the island is exploring its own digital fiat with cryptocurrency startup Bitt, and Aruba’s Central Bank believes this could boost the island’s GDP. But while blockchain's potential for travel and tourism businesses has been much-vaunted (Winding Tree has previously inked a deal with major airline Lufthansa), its Aruba project is on track to be the first fully implemented blockchain-based marketplace for travel. Winding Tree will start beta-testing the platform with early adopters early next year, with the hopes of launching commercially by the end of 2018, first with hotels and later with airlines.