Australian State Government Invests $8.3 Million in Crypto Tourism Startup
Queensland, an Australian province, has devised an effort to promote tourism to its state. The project, called Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas, will be funded by an $8.3 million grant. The project will then issue the funds to participating organizations who aim to fulfill the state’s goal of increasing tourism.
Interestingly enough, Queensland is being creative in terms of who it is granting funds to. Rather than relying solely on traditional companies, the state is turning to crypto starts as well. One particular startup, called TravelbyBit, is a digital currency payments platform.
According to Queensland’s Innovation Minister Kate Jones,
“TravelbyBit has devised a clever way to make it easier for visitors to our state to pay for their purchases with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments . . . I understand TravelbyBit is specifically targeting places like Bundaberg (along the Great Barrier Reef) – using cryptocurrency to make it easier for tourists to book holidays.”
The Queensland project is not the only one in the works for TravelbyBit. Caleb Yeoh, the platforms co-founder stated that the platform partnered with Brisbane Airport Corporation in an effort to launch the “world’s first digital currency friendly airport.” The platform has also successfully implemented a blockchain-backed point-of-sale system in regional tourist towns.
“We have more than 150 merchants across Australia using our system and this funding to develop a purpose-built platform that will accept digital currencies from anywhere in the world, will allow us to add jobs not only directly to our team but also across the broader tourism industry.”
There are also other countries that are working to integrate digital currencies into their tourism sectors. For instance, the German National Tourist Board announced that it is accepting BTC as payments for its services. Further, Ireland launched IrishCoin in 2014 to enhance the tourism sector. The coin functions as a discount voucher at select restaurants, bars, hotels, and tourist attractions.