In 2015, member states of the United Nations (UN) identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be met within the framework of the 2030 Agenda. The SDGs are an urgent global call to provide a blueprint for prosperity around the world.
At the European level, in December 2019 the EU Green Deal was presented, a roadmap to implement the 2030 agenda with a commitment to strategic and sustainable growth. In order to achieve the SDGs, technology is the great ally. In particular, blockchain technology is one of the key enabling technologies that can help the tourism sector create sustainable and secure solutions, as it ensures accountability, transparency, traceability and cyber resilience, as well as greater efficiency in processes.
This article describes the potential of blockchain to meet the challenges presented by the SDGs for the tourism sector. Finally, different challenges and recommendations are listed in order to guide all stakeholders committed to developing sustainable solutions for the sector.
Blockchain is a peer to peer technology (a digital network without fixed clients or servers, but nodes that behave as equals to each other) or peer to peer and that records transactions, agreements, contracts and sales. Originally developed to support cryptocurrencies, this blockchain technology can be used for any form of transactions without intermediaries.
The application of technology to achieve the SDGs can be used for the planning and development of tourism in an ethical and sustainable way, combating risks such as climate change through geographic information systems.
This technology can also be used to support local communities, since participation in the development of the destination is democratized for better territorial cohesion.
The success of the implementation of this technology to advance the SDGs will be determined by the degree of commitment that both companies and all stakeholders that make up the complex structure of tourism are willing to assume.
Along these lines, it is analyzed below which are some of these good practices that can help the sector to contribute to achieving the SDGs.
Human capital management
Natural resource management
Efficient management of financial resources
Improve the Customer Journey and customer satisfaction
The four main aspects are; cybersecurity, responsibility, transparency and traceability:
Cyber security. The applications and platforms that are used to improve the resilience of the sector and support any SDG must be enabled by a digital infrastructure resistant to cyberattacks.
Responsibility. The companies in the sector recognize their social and environmental impacts, assuming responsibility for them. This implies quantifying the internal and external effects of the actions and informing all interested parties.
Transparency. Companies openly share reports on their impacts to all stakeholders. The applications or platforms that are used will have transparency as a common element.
Traceability They give the industry the opportunity to identify and track assets. This can help you manage Responsible Investing (IR) more effectively.
Prevent food waste
Prevent food waste in the industry. Monitor the life cycle of products more efficiently (Zwitter, and Boisse-Despiaux, 2018).
An IoT-based water management system in accommodations and tourist attractions to harness the power of real-time data analytics to efficiently prevent and respond to emergencies. Detect and manage water loss Predict potential pipeline failures
Manage water pressure
The use of technology-based platforms could help to eliminate bias in the recruitment process.
Introducing this technology as part of the solution to systemic problems will allow achieving the SDGs through new forms of corporate governance in decentralized companies and collaboration with public entities (Fraga-Lamas and Fernández-Caramés, 2020).