Last modified: Fri Sep 20 2019 11:21:30 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Winding Tree Introduction
Winding Tree is a marketplace for travel companies. Winding Tree directly connects OTAs and suppliers of travel. It is an open-source ecosystem of smart contracts, interoperable API standards, and harmonized data structures that enable decentralized distribution and discovery of travel products and services.
Who is It For?
Winding Tree is a completely decentralized platform (like the Internet) where suppliers can showcase their products and services without a need to go through an intermediary (like GDSs). And, of course, where OTAs and TMCs can access those products and sell them to their customers. Because the platform is open-source, it can be easily extended with new types of products and services.
While listing your organization on Winding Tree is easy, in order to harness the full potential of the platform, your organization has to be capable of either providing or cosuming APIs of other companies on the platform. Welcome to the 21st century!
Why Should My Company Use Winding Tree?
Winding Tree is an open marketplace, an agora, where buyers and sellers can trade with each other without intermediaries. It's useful for OTAs because they will can quickly connect to thousands of suppliers, and it's great for the suppliers because thousands of OTAs and TMCs can now access and buy their products and services.
Why Decentralization Matters?
Currently, travel is dominated by just a handful of large multinational corporations. They don't just charge unnecessarily large fees but also act as gatekeepers of the industry, picking and choosing companies and ideas that will have access to the marketplace. They don't have any incentive to update their technology stack, that's why travel tech is so out of date. (To better understand how centralization hurts consumers and hinders innovation, we recommend reading The Master Switch by Tim Wu.)
What Winding Tree is Not
Winding Tree is not a website for booking travel, nor we're a PMS or PSS (although we've created examples of how these systems can be integrated or built on top of the platform). Winding Tree is just a set of protocols and conventions!
What Does Winding Tree Do?
Winding Tree is designed to provide three key features that any marketplace requires: identity, trust and aggregation.
Winding Tree organization identity system (or ORG.ID) helps you to uniquely identify your company when you interact with other marketplace participants.
As a supplier, you want to control who can access your inventory. As an OTA, you want to be sure that the hotel you're booking for your customer exists. ORG.ID standard defines a protocol that helps both buyers and sellers to establish trust in each other, all in a completely decentralized manner.
There are thousands of travel companies out there and it's important to have one database of these companies in one place. Winding Tree Entrypoint and segment directory smart contracts provide an easy way for doing so.
Once the identities and organization discoverability is established, you can start to directly talk to each other in an authenticated and secure way.
What Can I do on Winding Tree?
OTAs can combine multi-segment travel itineraries for their customers without going through rigorous vetting process with each and every company they want to work with, and, importantly, without paying a gatekeeper transaction fees for providing that service.
Providers of travel-related services (e.g. insurance and such) can make their APIs available to OTAs as well. Do you have a great idea for an API service that GDSs will never be able to offer? Plug in!