In the wake of the sudden and spectacular downfall of FTX, it is all the more important for cultural NFTs to offer real-life value to restore consumer and investor confidence. Luckily, the tourism and hospitality sector looks prepared to offer such an opportunity.
Hotel chains such as Marriott International and startups such as Black Platinum Gold have been experimenting with ways to infuse NFTs into the sector. For instance, using NFTs as room keys that give access to exclusive hotel rooms or discounts. Customers can also bid for NFTs that come loaded with worldwide travel offers that can range from the hundreds to the tens of thousands of dollars.
Other platforms and startups are investigating ways to enhance sustainability and indigenous cultures in tourism via NFTs. The Indian travel booking platform MakeMyTrip recently launched a limited NFT collection depicting India’s top travel destinations, with part of the sales proceeds going toward promoting sustainable tourism in India.
In Paris, the five-star Hotel Lancaster partnered with plastic waste removal marketplace Plastiks to mint its first batch of NFTs. Each NFT showcases a different guest room in the hotel and includes a one-night stay for two, as well as a guarantee that a ton of plastic waste has been removed from the environment in Brazil.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia, NFTs are being used to protect the cultural heritage of endangered indigenous groups by recording their music and rituals and pairing them with traditional handicrafts made by those groups, offering NFT buyers a tangible, phygital experience.
In China, many tourist attractions are offering digital collectibles (China’s version of NFTs) to attract visitors and promote their cultural IPs. Beijing’s Summer Palace Park recently released a digital collectible that portrays the landmark site Yuanmingyuan before its destruction during the Second Opium War in 1860.
The renowned ancient city of Dali in Yunnan Province is currently selling two collectibles that feature its ancient pagodas and scenic views of its snowy mountains. Owners of these collectibles can enjoy certain privileges in Dali, such as discounts on tickets and culture IP product purchases.
Although tourism promotion via NFTs is still in its early stage, its potential is enormous. It offers a new way for cultural relics to digitally restore their former sites and enables niche locations to reach out to broader and younger audiences. Watch this space.