• El Salvador tourism minister says Bitcoin is a key factor in the recovery of tourism
  • Tourists interested in Bitcoin have a longer stay and larger expense in the country
  • Tourism will boost even more during the upcoming Holy Week 

El Salvador's tourism has greatly benefited from the introduction of Bitcoin as a legal tender in the country as tourists interested in the cryptocurrency are having longer stays and larger expenses in the country, the Central American country's tourism ministry has said.

Morena Valdez, the tourism minister of El Salvador, spoke on the recovery of the country's tourism sector after its COVID-19 slump in an interview on a local TV news channel.

"According to the World Tourism Organization, we have an 81 percent recovery by 2022. They had calculated that 2024 would be year zero," she said.

The minister attributed this recovery to three factors--one of the key factors being making Bitcoin a legal tender in the country.

"Tourists interested in the implementation of bitcoin have a longer stay and a larger expense. Before Bitcoin, there was a daily expense of $113 to $150, now it is up to $200 a day," she said.

The other two had to do with the country's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the investments that derive from the interest the country and its economic movements have awakened in foreign markets.

The minister concluded: "For Holy Week, we have projected the visit of more than 170,000 people, approaching the flow of the year 2019. This is equivalent to $161 million in foreign currency."

Last year, in September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as an official currency. After El Salvador, interest started to grow globally among nations to adopt Bitcoin. The Swiss City of Lugano made Bitcoin and Tether legal tender last month.

President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has announced plans for the world's first "Bitcoin City"
President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has announced plans for the world's first "Bitcoin City" AFP / MARVIN RECINOS