Binance Rolls Out Crypto Tourism

Binance, one of the leading global crypto exchanges, has launched an inaugural crypto-sponsored vacation dubbed crypto tourism meant to illustrate simple, secure, and efficient travel in Web 3.0.

Per the announcement:

“To demonstrate what is possible when you forgo traditional currency and globetrot exclusively using crypto, Binance has teamed up with leading travel influencers, Lauren Bullen and Jack Morris.”

Binance’s campaign intends to show that crypto-backed travel is no longer complicated during exploring the world. Shortlised participants will have the chance to walk away with $50,000 in Binance Coin (BNB).

Furthermore, it seeks to revamp the travel industry as it continues getting on its feet based on challenges, such as geopolitical conflict, market volatility, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

James Rothwell, Binance’s global vice president of marketing, pointed out:

“Crypto tourism makes global travel easier and more secure for everyone. It’s also an economical choice, since there are zero fees, full transaction transparency and no country-by-country exchange rate issues.”

He added:

“The ease of using crypto while traveling is a testament to the incredible mainstream global adoption we are starting to see.”

Crypto travel seeks to offer a whole new experience when it comes to traversing the world, especially for people who like exploration, according to Bullen.

Meanwhile, Thailand considered opening crypto payments for Russian and Ukrainian tourists as international sanctions continued to bite earlier this year. This was after Visa and Mastercard suspended Russian credit cards, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Honduras Establishes Bitcoin Valley in Santa Lucia to Boost Crypto Opportunities

Honduras has entered the cryptocurrency trend after launching “Bitcoin Valley” in Santa Lucia meant to spur more opportunities in the digital asset space, according to Reuters. 

As a result, the tourist town of Santa Lucia has shifted to a Bitcoin city because business owners are adopting crypto payments to boost tourism.


Cesar Andino, the manager of Los Robles shopping square, pointed out:

“It will open more opportunities and attract more people who want to use this currency.”

Santa Lucia is strategically located because it is just 20 minutes from the nation’s capital Tegucugalpa.


The “Bitcoin Valley” project was jointly developed by Santa Lucia’s municipality, the Technological University of Honduras, the Guatemalan cryptocurrency exchange consortium Coincaex, and the Blockchain Honduras organization. 


Therefore, the initiative will initially target 60 businesses to be trained about cryptocurrencies and how to use them as marketing tools for their services and products. The project is expected to be rolled out to more enterprises in Santa Lucia and nearby areas. 


Ruben Carbajal Velazquez, a professor at the Technological University, welcomed the “Bitcoin Valley” concept and said:

“Santa Lucia’s community will be educated to use and manage cryptocurrencies, implementing them in different businesses in the region and generating crypto-tourism.”

Since El Salvador accepted Bitcoin as legal tender in September last year, crypto interest in Latin America has soared.


For instance, a recent study by Mastercard disclosed that more than 50% of consumers in Latin America were participating in crypto transactions. The payments giant pointed out:

“51% of consumers in the region have already made a transaction with crypto assets, and more than a third say they have made a payment for an everyday purchase with stablecoin.”

Therefore, Latin Americans see cutting-edge technologies like crypto as an ideal payment option.

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Thailand Considers Opening Crypto Payments for Russian and Ukrainian Tourists

Following Mastercard and Visa suspension of Russian credit cards abroad based on international sanctions, Thailand is looking at accepting cryptocurrency payments to help Ukrainian, and Russian tourists transact, according to local outlet Thai Enquirer. 

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) President, confirmed that they were in talks with the Bank of Thailand to accept crypto as an alternative payment option for Ukrainian and Russian tourists.

He added:

Cryptocurrencies would serve as a backup while transactions could not proceed.”

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) also acknowledged that four proposals were being tabled to the cabinet on March 8. They included offering alternative payment channels, waiving visa extension fees, solving travel insurance problems, and tackling accommodation issues.

With nearly 7,000 stranded Ukrainian and Russian tourists spread across Pattaya, Krabi, Koh Samui, and Phuket, the crypto payment option will be instrumental when meeting their needs.

The Thai government also intends to offer shelter to tourists who cannot return home due to political unrest, suspended flights and cannot afford to stay in Thailand.

Even though nearly 30% of the Russian market goes through the Middle East, it might be forced to cancel its trips based on skyrocketing costs triggered by sanctions and higher exchange rates.

On the other hand, cryptocurrencies are emerging as a lifeline for ordinary Russians, according to Coinbase CEO.  

Armstrong acknowledged that this was the case, given that the Russian Ruble had collapsed based on the heavy sanctions imposed. For instance, the Russian national currency has lost more than a third of its value this year. 

The Coinbase CEO also pointed out that banning Russians from using the crypto exchange was out of the picture because the law did not warrant it. 

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El Salvador Tourism Sector Surges 30%, Benefit from Adopting Bitcoin for Legal Tender

El Salvador is leaping the dividends of making Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender, given that the nation’s tourism industry has recorded a 30% surge since this milestone was attained in September 2021. 

Morena Valdez, the Minister of Tourism, stipulated the sector was experiencing exponential growth because expectations had been exceeded, according to the local media outlet El Salvador in English.

Valdez added:

“We did a poll to check the activity according to the before and after of Bitcoin. The tourism sector increased in November and December. This increased by more than 30%.”

With the United States contributing the lion’s share of tourists at 60%, the minister acknowledged that the target of 1.1 million visitors had been surpassed by 300,000.

President Nayib Bukele said the tourism industry, the second-largest sector in the country, boosted the economy in 2021 as income from this sector continues to soar.

Valdez pointed out:

“We had projected $800,000 in foreign exchange; but we obtained more than $1.4 million of income in foreign currency.”

This notable growth is linked to the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender on El Salvador soil because it officially became a medium of payment alongside the U.S. dollar. 

Since then, the Central American nation has made significant strides in the BTC space. For instance, earlier this year, it looked at the issuance of Bitcoin bonds through a raft of legislation. 

As Bitcoiners continue eyeing to relocate to El Salvador, President Bukele is pushing various policy reforms to grant Citizenship by Investment to foreign investors. 

The President revealed that he would be sending nearly 52 reforms to the country’s Congress to remove the red tape, reduce bureaucracy, create tax incentives, and aid citizenship in exchange for investments, new securities laws, stability contracts.

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Thailand Eyes Crypto Tourism to Increase GDP

Thailand could see a new phase in its tourism sector as the country is planning to target crypto digital nomads to increase its gross domestic product (GDP). - 2021-11-26T150334.016.jpg

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working on starting a parallel sector to traditional marketing to attract new nano entrepreneurs by rolling out TAT Coin since September as part of a planned ‘cryptourism’ campaign, according to local media sources. 

TAT has been in discussions with the Thailand Stock Exchange regarding the issuance of TAT Coin and is now awaiting the green light from the Thai government.

According to Bitkub founder and chief executive Jirayut Srupsrisopa, while Thailand’s GDP was around US$500 billion, the cryptocurrency market is worth over $3 trillion.

The tremendous growth of the crypto market has created wealthy individuals and is being seen as the incentive for the country to lean towards crypto payments since these potential customers or new nano entrepreneurs are able to work remotely and get paid via transactions on blockchain technology, which incurs no fees and has lower costs than traditional finance.

Speaking at the “Transform tourism with cryptourism” seminar on Tuesday, Mr Jirayut said: “Private sectors are ready to provide digital infrastructure, but we’re just waiting for the government to press the button by enacting laws, regulations or even policies to help facilitate digital asset markets. Our national GDP could grow six times if we can strengthen this market.”

According to the Bangkok Post, however, the growth would start from a low base as the National Economic and Social Development Council has forecast GDP growth this year at only 1.2%, while seeing the growth of 3.5-4.5% in 2022.

Another intention behind introducing the digital tourism policy is to help tourism operators in Thailand who has suffered financially due to the impact of the pandemic and the situation has also made it hard for them to access financial aid from traditional sources of finance, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.

According to Al Jazeera, Thailand hosted a total of 106,117 tourists in the first ten months of 2021, a tiny fraction of the average 40 million tourists per year pre-pandemic.

Although the private sector appears ready to support this campaign, Supasorn warns that the government still has a lot of work to do to prepare for the rollout of such an ambitious digital currency-focused initiative.

While the country seems optimistic about introducing TAT Coin, Blockchain.News reported in July that the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has warned against using digital currencies in serving as payments for goods and services in the country.

Ms Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya, Assistant Governor of Payment Systems Policy and Financial Technology Group, said that virtual currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not legal tenders in Thailand. Their use can predispose the receiver of the cryptocurrencies to certain risks, ranging from price volatility to cyber theft and money laundering, amongst others.

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American Airlines partners with decentralized travel market Winding Tree

Ethereum-based decentralized travel marketplace Winding Tree has announced a new collaboration with American Airlines that will allow select travelers to receive tailored booking options, opening up a potential new use case for blockchain technology. 

Through the collaboration, American’s largest corporate travel buyers will have access to Winding Tree’s marketplace to book travel directly and receive “uniquely tailored and cost-efficient travel options,” the companies announced. Neil Geurin, who serves as American Airlines’ managing director of digital and distribution, said Winding Tree gives customers “provides a frictionless approach” to accessing travel accommodation.

Winding Tree said its marketplace accommodates all sorts of peer-to-peer connections for the travel and aviation industry. In addition to American Airlines, the marketplace has already secured a partnership with Air Canada, one of North America’s largest carriers.

American is the largest passenger airline in North America, having served over 95.3 million passengers in 2020. Passenger traffic peaked near 215.2 million in 2019 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. In October, American announced a third-quarter net profit of $169 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, on revenue of $9 billion. Revenue rose 20% from the previous quarter.

Related: Subsidiary of Mexican airline Volaris to accept Bitcoin payments

Airlines were ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic as governments locked down their economies and restricted both domestic and international travel. According to Airports Council International, the impact of the pandemic removed more than 1 billion passengers in 2020. Winding Tree co-founder Pedro Anderson said the pandemic created a “complete paradigm shift in travel” that has placed a premium on innovation.

In 2020, air transport technology provider Sita estimated that 59% of airlines were already piloting or researching blockchain technology solutions for their internal processes. As far back as 2018, it was estimated that 86% of aerospace and defense companies were planning to implement blockchain in the foreseeable future, according to Accenture.