The travel and tourism industry is a major revenue driver for the global economy. In 2016, economists estimated that the travel and tourism industry contributed about $7.6 trillion to the global economy – thereby being responsible for as much as 10.6% of the world’s GDP. In fact, the travel and tourism industry is one of the biggest employers of labor in the global economic landscape as it boasts of providing one in every 10 jobs.
Millennials and Generation Z are major pillars upholding the thriving travel and tourism industry. Millennials are driving economic growth because they are the largest demography, they are tech savvy, upwardly mobile, and they have less inhibition towards spending. Statistics from the travel industry suggests that millennials spend an average of $4,500 within 35 travel days every year.
The travel industry fails to unlock optimal value from millennials
Despite the undeniable fact that millennials are a major consumer block in the travel industry, it is disheartening to observe that the industry is still stuck in an ancient era that millennials find stifling. To begin with, overbooking of flights and hotels could turn a trip into a nightmare even before it has had a chance to begin. Services such as Uber and AirBnB appeal to millennials because they are less stifling than hotels and taxis; yet, millennials are only trading one brand of inconvenience for another brand of inconvenience.
Secondly, travelers have to jump through many hoops to verify their identity and they are inadvertently forced to share their private data with many people along the value chain. Unfortunately, millennials have pseudo-living personas on multiple social platforms and it is often a drag verifying their identity through old systems when a simple look at their Facebook or Instagram handles would suffice.
Thirdly, there’s a depressing lack of reliable travel information to help travelers make informed travel decisions. The travel information available online is a jumbled up cacophony of hype, marketing pitch, incorrect, sentimental, and slightly objective stories from different sources. Hence, travelers often need to devote a great deal of time and energy to go through tons of information in search of reliable information.
Unfortunately, travel agents are not much help either because their knowledge is often limited to the tidbit of information that they can gather on the internet. In addition, travel agents tend to charge expensive fees for the information and they mark up the prices of consumables such as flight tickets and hotel reservations.
Cool Cousin is changing the narrative for the travel industry
Cool Cousin wants to help travelers (millennials and Gen Z especially) to bypass the information overload on the Internet in order to access unbiased travel information. Launched in 2016, as a VC-backed startup, Cool Cousin is getting popular acclaim, as a tool to revolutionize how people travel.
One of the smartest ways to create a memorable traveling experience is to plan your trip with the assistance of friends/family who are living at your destination. You can count on such people to give you factually reliable information on the accommodation options, the places to visit, the best times to travel, and on how to find the rare gems in the not so touristy places tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the cities.
Cool Cousin understands that not every traveler has the luxury of having a family member or friend that they can call in their destination cities. The firm, however, leverages blockchain technology to create a network of local guides called “Cousins” in different parts of the world. The Cool Cousin app, available on Android and iOS is now available in more than 65 cities with more than 1000 locals actively working as city guides.
Cool Cousin provides travelers with the next best thing to having a trusted local friend who knows your interest and can direct you to places that suit you. When you launch the Cool Cousin app, you sign in with one of your social media accounts such as Facebook or email. The app then asks for where you want to go. The app then pulls up info on your “Cousins” showing you their age, interests, and places they’ve been. You can connect with a “Cousin” whose interests seem to match your interests – you can ask for their map to favorite places or general travel idea that helps you to get the best out of your interests.
A Win-Win proposition backed by blockchain
Cool Cousin is also riding the cryptocurrency application of Blockchain technology to create the CUZ token. The CUZ token is an open source cryptographic token that will be used for the exchange of information on travel services and local information on the Cool Cousin platform. CUZ will serve as a tool to incentivize Cousins to provide unique content that fills an information gap for travelers.
The supply of the CUZ token is limited to 300,000,000 with the bulk of it being available in an ICO and only 10% going to the founding team. The instrumentality of a coin exchange also ensures that all members of the Cool Cousin community get to participate in keeping the platform alive sustainably without sacrificing the quality of content at the altar of growth and scale.