The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, has announced it started a partnership with Bitt Inc., a financial technology company that utilizes blockchain and distributed ledger technology to facilitate secure peer-to-peer transactions. The goal of the partnership is to facilitate payment processes related to tourism products and services.
Each year the tourism industry makes an input of about 50 billion dollars to the regional GDP. Meanwhile, tourists travelling between islands in the Caribbean face difficulties while dealing with currencies. 7,000 islands of the region comprise 12 dependent territories and 13 sovereign island nations, and many currencies are used to pay for goods and services throughout the islands. This can make trading between islands and travelling quite complex.
If the islands start accepting payments in crypto, it could mean lower exchange costs and better possibilities for tourism, as well as imports and exports.
“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 programs and activities within the tourism sector,” Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general, said.
The arrangement is for an initial three-year period, but it can be extended by mutual agreement.