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Caribbean Islands Promote the Adoption of the Blockchain Technology for Payments in the Tourism Sector

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), an organization gathering almost 30 countries in the Caribbean region, signed an agreement with Bitt, a company for payment solutions based on the blockchain technology. The goal of the project is to improve the efficiency of the trade of products and services in the tourism industry in the region.

According to the official information, the project will explore the benefits of the adoption of the blockchain technology in the financial services sector. The goal is to impulse the adoption of the wallet developed by Bitt, a company operating in the entire Caribbean region.

Hugh Riley, the secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, said the blockchain technology had the potential to help the Caribbean region to advance and move forward, especially when it comes to the tourism sector. The project will especially motivate the use of digital currencies in tropical paradises such as Jamaica, Saint Martin and Bahamas, which present attractive tourist destinations in the region. The secretary general of the CTO added: “The Caribbean aims to fully examine the advantages offered by new financial technology. In particular, blockchain financial services have the potential to advance the objectives of specific programmes and activities within the tourism sector, and the CTO has a responsibility on behalf of our members to fully explore those possibilities. Our memorandum of understanding with Bitt underscores the importance of collaborating with this forward-thinking, cutting edge, Caribbean company with whom we have a shared commitment to the economic success of our region.”

It is important to point out that various countries in the Caribbean region rely mainly on the tourism industry, which is why the CEO of Bitt, Rawdon Adams, said it was natural and necessary to adopt the innovative alternatives to support the wellbeing and development of each country in the region: “Expanding Bitt’s footprint throughout the region is very important to us because we know how transformational our technology can be. That’s particularly the case for the region’s informal sector, for the unbanked and by extension for the economy. Tourism is the largest single contributor to the Caribbean economy and is absolutely critical to every single Caribbean nation’s well-being and development. Thus we see this as a very natural and necessary association.”

Initially, the agreement between the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Bitt will last for three years with the possibility of extension by mutual agreement.

As it seems, it is only a matter of time until the Caribbean region sees a growth in the number of crypto tourists. This option also sparked the interest of other governments and institutions. One of them is Aruba, another country from the Caribbean region that is not a member of the CTO. Aruba is trying to increase its earnings while keeping them on the island by eliminating the intermediaries in the tourism sector.

On the other hand, Oleg Safonov, head of the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation, said last month he believed the blockchain technology had the potential to revolutionize the tourism market in the next five to ten years, especially when it comes to the provision of services. Safonov said: “We are absolutely convinced in our federal agency that blockchain will seriously change the tourism market, although, in our opinion, it will happen bot in two years but in 5-10 years. Of course, the technologies that are being created now they allow tourists, consumers to work directly with providers (of services) removing all the intermediaries. This makes the product better in quality, less expensive and also increases the provider’s responsibility for the product.”

Likewise, it is important to know that the users and investors on the cryptocurrency market have started to use their digital assets as a method of payment for hotels and vacations. Tourists use their prepaid debit cards linked with their cryptocurrency accounts to pay for the services in the tourism industry. It will be interesting to follow the adoption of the blockchain technology by the tourism sector and see the new solutions it would create.

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