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President Nayib Bukele has been gushing about the effects of the country’s Bitcoin policies on its tourism industry.
El Salvador’s Bitcoin-Tourism
Despite the ongoing bear market, it looks like El Salvador’s Bitcoin-favorable policies have attracted a thriving crypto-tourism culture. According to a report by the UN World Tourism Organization on the world’s best-performing destinations by earnings, international tourist arrivals to El Salvador between January through May of 2022 have grown by 6%. The report also estimated that the numbers indicate that the international arrivals will bounce back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year.
President Bukele retweeted the information, also adding,
“Only a handful of countries have been able to recover its tourism to pre pandemic levels. And that’s international tourism, so the reasons behind it are mostly Bitcoin and surf.”
The report also points out the challenges that countries like El Salvador will face due to the growing industry. Especially since the aftermath of the pandemic has resulted in staff shortages, airport congestion, flight delays, and cancellations, which could affect the positive numbers.
Bitcoin Beach Main Attraction
One of the main pulls of the tourism industry of El Salvador was its Bitcoin Beach, which has gained global popularity. International visitors have flocked to the country to visit Bitcoin Beach in a new genre of travel called “crypto tourism.”
According to the country’s Minister of Tourism, adopting Bitcoin as legal currency in the country has resulted in a 30% growth in tourism.
In an interview in April, Valdez said,
“El Salvador has become a good place to visit, invest and live. With the use of Bitcoin, tourism has increased by 30%. Tourists interested in the implementation of Bitcoin have a longer stay and spend more. Before Bitcoin there was a daily spend of $113 to $150, now it is up to $200 a day.”
El Salvador’s Early-Mover Advantage
Bukele also supported his tweets with further data from the Google Mobility Report, which showed that the country has been receiving higher volumes of footfalls in places of retail and recreation, grocery stores, pharmacies, and parks, over the last three months. President Bukele’s decision to adopt BTC as legal tender was questioned worldwide, with many leading institutions claiming that the country’s economy was doomed. However, the President’s stance has always been unwavering, and rightfully so, as the data indicates. Furthermore, the country’s Finance Minister, Alejandro Zelaya, has revealed that its commitment to BTC is paying off, as its financial inclusion plans have attracted international visitors. Consequently, the government is hopeful that new Bitcoin investments will continue to bring more visitors to the country.
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