Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s President, recently spoke about the surge in tourists visiting the country despite the bear market.
El Salvador has been included in the World Tourism Organization ranking. The Central American country jumped onto the list along with 14 other countries.
Nayib Bukele and Tourism
According to Bukele, this is mainly due to the adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender and the promotion of sports such as surfing.
“Only a handful of countries have been able to bring their tourism back to pre-pandemic levels… The main reasons for this are #Bitcoin and surfing. But domestic tourism is growing even more, largely due to our crackdown on gangs.”
The country’s Bitcoin Beach has made headlines around the world and continues to draw international attention.
In April, Tourism Minister Morena Valdez gave an interview to Salvadoran television channel 21. There she explained that tourism in the country has grown by 30% thanks to the adoption of Bitcoin.
“El Salvador has become a good place to visit, invest and live. The use of Bitcoin has increased tourism by 30%. Tourists interested in implementing Bitcoin are staying longer and spending more. Before bitcoin there were daily spends of $113 to $150, now it’s up to $200 a day.”
The report Nayib Bukele is referring to is the UNWTO ranking of tourist arrival growth between January and May this year. Only three locations in the Americas emerged: St. Lucia at 21%, El Salvador at 6%, and Mexico at 3%.
Among other destinations appearing in the UNWTO ranking are Croatia, Turkey, Sudan, Pakistan, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia. The agency forecasts that international arrivals in those countries will reach pre-pandemic levels this year.
UNWTO emphasizes that countries like El Salvador, which is experiencing an increase in tourism, will face challenges. These include staff shortages in the tourism industry, severe airport congestion and flight delays and cancellations, which could also affect tourism figures.
Nayib Bukele and Google
The President of El Salvador also presented Google’s updated mobility data (updated August 3), showing the country with “more than expected” tourism activity.
In late July, El Salvador’s Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya revealed that the country’s commitment to Bitcoin (BTC) is working. It has expanded financial inclusion services to all corners of the nation, benefiting the populace whether they are unbanked or unbanked. And it has attracted more tourism.
While Bitcoin adoption has been difficult for some, Nayib Bukele holds her own.
“For some it’s something new and something they don’t fully understand, but it’s a phenomenon that exists and is gaining ground and will continue for years to come. New technologies showed that people were afraid of things like websites.”
Nayib Bukele made a bet by making Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador, making it the country in the world to do so. Even this act has kept the small country in the news all of 2021 and now in 2022. Could this move be totally awesome?
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