The Venezuelan economy is in shambles as the Venezuelan Bolivar’s value has been steadily decreasing due to the rigid exchange control in place since 2003. Concerned with the financial turmoil, Destinia has announced to operate exclusively in Bitcoins in Venezuela.
Destinia, a well-known travel agency, has taken the decision to accept payments only in Bitcoin to further facilitate reservations by local travelers. Redditors weigh in the impact of the decision here.
The company has seen a growth of 34% in reservations in 2016, even though Venezuela is not a strategic market for Destinia. Among the most searched destinations for hotel bookings outside of the capital, Havana, Margarita Island, Madrid and Varadero are at the top. The most in demand flight routes are from Caracas to Madrid, Santiago de Chile, Cumana (Venezuela) and Mexico City.
Bitcoin has been gaining prominence and user support in Venezuela since 2014. The site Surbitcoin.com, considered as the top Bitcoin market in Venezuela, confirms that between August 2014 and November 2016 the number of users of the crypto currency went from 450 to 85,000.
As a result, Destinia has been accepting Bitcoins for all products and services offered on the website since 2014.
“Venezuelans not only have many difficulties leaving the country, however also in paying with credit cards, as they can only do so in the local currency. Giving priority to Bitcoin as a payment method could be of help”, observes Victor Oliva, Head of the Transportation Department at Destinia.
The decision by Destinia is quite surprising but not entirely unexpected. This move might just be the one to help the country’s dim prospects. Venezuela requires a global payment solution which won’t get hit by the ridiculous exchange rates. And Bitcoin seems perfect, given the situation.
The ongoing inflation issue increasingly decreases the appeal behind bolivar transactions. And if the situation further deteriorates, the companies holding reserves of bolivar could face financial losses. Making Destinia’s move a buffer against any such development.