Tourism in El Salvador up 30% since Bitcoin adoption, minister says

El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender in September 2021 has triggered a notable surge not only for its gross domestic product (GDP) but also for the local tourism development.

According to Salvadoran Tourism Minister Morena Valdez, the tourism industry in El Salvador has surged more than 30% since the adoption of the Bitcoin law in September 2021.

“We did a poll to check the activity according to the before and after of Bitcoin. The tourism sector increased in November and December. This increased by more than 30%,” Valdez said in an interview with the local news agency El Salvador News English on Monday.

Valdez noted that El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption has also impacted the flow of tourist visits, increasing the number of tourists coming from the United States. Prior to the Bitcoin law enactment, the majority of visitors was coming from neighboring countries in the Central American isthmus. Now, as many as 60% of tourists come from the United States, she said.

The minister added that El Salvador’s tourism growth has exceeded the government’s expectations, reaching 1.4 million visitors instead of 1.1 million tourists.

“We had projected $800,000 in foreign exchange but we obtained more than $1,400 million of income in foreign currency,” Valdez stated.

Related: Pro-Bitcoin president of El Salvador to offer citizenship for foreign investors

The news comes shortly after Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele announced that El Salvador’s GDP grew 10.3% in 2021. The country’s exports, a major driver of economic growth, have also increased 13% year-over-year in January 2022.


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