The small, tourist-oriented municipality of Santa Lucia in Honduras wants to attract Bitcoin-savvy tourists and investors by recognising Bitcoin as an official means of payment at many payment points. More than 60 merchants and local businesses are already on board.
In Latin America, cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, are gaining ground and becoming more and more important.
For example, the municipality of Santa Lucia in Honduras, which is dominated by tourism, has now launched Bitcoin as an official means of payment for tourism services.
So far, more than 60 local businesses have joined the campaign and accept payment with the Bitcoin.
The programme, which was developed in cooperation with the crypto exchange Coincaex, the crypto company Blockchain Honduras and the Technical University of Honduras, is scheduled to go live next Thursday, 04 August 2022.
Coincaex will provide the equipment and services needed to process the payment transactions. And Blockchain Honduras is organising training for the employees of the participating companies.
This is how the program is supposed to work in Bitcoin Valley
Tourists and investors pay their bills and services at local businesses with their Bitcoin assets.
These values are converted by Coincaex in real time into the national currency of Honduras, the lempira, and credited to the traders. This protects local traders from the risk of large exchange rate fluctuations.
Honduras launches ‘Bitcoin Valley’ 🇭🇳— Documenting Bitcoin 📄 (@DocumentingBTC) July 29, 2022
Over 60 businesses have adopted #bitcoin in the small town of Santa Lucia. They will get training in the new technology and how to market their products and services.https://t.co/O8nh543ehG
This is what the official bodies envisage
With this action, the region intends to revive tourism revenues, which have plummeted since the Covid pandemic.
Before Covid, the Honduran region had tourism revenues of over US$556 million in 2019. Due to the pandemic and these have plummeted by over 66% and are currently below US$189 million.
Local officials are hoping for a big boost from globally active crypto-disciples and Bitcoin owners. After all, several neighbouring countries in Latin America also rely on Bitcoin and investments in cryptocurrencies.
Other countries in Latin America are also betting on the Bitcoin
As is well known, El Salvador has already introduced Bitcoin as the country’s official means of payment in September 2021. Other campaigns around the use of Bitcoin and Co. have also been introduced, such as the Bitcoin Beach tourist campaign in the El Zonte region, which is also the model for Bitcoin Valley in Santa Lucia.
In Guatemala, too, it is hoped that the recognition of Bitcoin as a means of payment will generate additional income in tourism. The test region there is the Atitlan Lake District in the mountains of the Sierra Madre, the so-called “Bitcoin Lake Initiative”.
The mayor of Panajachel, Cesar Piedrasanta, is also into Bitcoin, so he has used surplus energy of the region to mine Bitcoins before it would be wasted unused.