A federally administered region in Russian Siberia, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug – Yugra, has announced its plans to boost its tourism industry by transitioning to a digital economy through blockchain. The news was announced by the Russian blockchain company Universa Platform, that is helping the region develop the technology. The partnership was announced at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
An article on the same was also written by Universa’s representative on Medium. The project is in line with President Putin‘s Decree on National Goals and Strategic Development Objective of the Russian Federation 2024, also known as Putin’s 2024 Mission. The decree aims to:
…take Russia into the top five largest economies, ensure economic growth rates exceeding international rates, while at the same time maintaining macroeconomic stability, including inflation under 4 percent.
The project aims to transform the remote area in western Siberia into a tourist destination and bring in foreign direct investment to uplift the inhabitants of the area. The project will start by testing these digital technologies in a pilot area before going mainstream. Universa’s blockchain platform will enable control over the spending of the budget funds by creating an investment project management system.
Moreover, the platform will also tag the money using distributed ledger, ensuring transparency in the expense of funds and protect the government and investor’s money from potential misuse. The article adds:
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.
Another feature of the new platform will be the support for multiple languages so that the platform can be a single digital ecosystem for all tourists. Everything will be integrated within the system, and the system will help the customers with everything from transports to hotel bookings. The platform will provide the tourists with the following functionalities:
Suppliers of tourist products and services (regional, nationwide providers, and importers), transportation companies delivering the tourists, accommodation and catering facilities, small and medium enterprises providing services in adjacent areas, investors, business support foundations, and finally tourists heading for their vacations in the region.
The platform is also aimed at being a one-window information desk for all tourist activities. The platform will also create a pool of data that will help in continual changes in the tourism offerings.
Blockchain in Tourism
This is not the first time blockchain technology has been linked with tourism. Dubai was the first tourist destination that integrated blockchain technology in its tourism sector. Dubai Tourism 2.0 helps customers in booking flights and hotels in Dubai using blockchain. However, Dubai was not the first country to come up with the idea. In 2017, the Russian tourism minister put forward the idea of implementing blockchain to promote tourism in Russia.
Dubai’s blockchain enabled a marketplace for tourists, and has since gained much traction. The platform has connected thousands of tourists with service providers. The Tourism 2.0 marketplace enables travelers to have personalized vacation plans, a service that has been in demand for many years now. It is believed that the Russian platform will also provide such services with payment tracking systems built in for the government and the investors.
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