Caribbean nations look at cryptocurrency to boost tourism
The Caribbean Tourism Organization is exploring the possibilities of cryptocurrency payment systems.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has signed a deal with the Barbados-based Bitt Inc. to move towards "the implementation of more efficient payment processes for tourism products and services," officials announced.
The parties haven't formalised any hard arrangements, but have signed a memorandum of understanding to "foster broader economic participation in community-based tourism and related sectors" though cryptocurrencies. For its part, Bitt Inc. aims to help implement efficient digital payment services in the region's tourism industry.
"The Caribbean aims to fully examine the advantages offered by the new financial technology," said CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley. "The CTO has a responsibility, on behalf of our members, to fully explore these possibilities."
"Tourism is the largest single contributor to the Caribbean economy. It is absolutely critical to every single Caribbean nation's well-being and development," said Bitt Inc. CEO Rawdon Adams. "We see this as a very natural and necessary association... we know how transformational our technology can be."
Beyond the possibility of attracting crypto-rich tourists who don't want to cash out digital wealth for a holiday, the move may also be a useful step in other ways.
Overseas investment in the region has seen some declines, and in recent years, Bitcoin News reports, large US banks have been withdrawing capital from the region, which has led to underbanking in some regions. This is detrimental to both tourism and international trade. The area is also highly dependent on imports and exports bolstered by financing solutions.
The geographically disparate area and the usual process of tourists hopping across multiple islands per trip means more efficient ways of moving money could be a very welcome addition.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC and NANO.
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