Wondering how the rise of crypto currencies might affect tourism and travel trends? As more and more people become familiar with how to use and spend digital currencies, a new tourist type is emerging: the cryptotourist.
So what is a cryptotourist? How do cryptotourists travel? And why should travel and tourism businesses be paying attention to cryptotourism? We’ll start with the first question.
A crypto tourist is a cryptocurrency enthusiast who pays for digital currency packaged tours and side attractions in digital currency. It can also be those travelers who use cryptocurrency on their vacation, even if parts of the vacation are still paid for in fiat currency. As part of a larger trend, crypto tourists are said to take part in a type of tourism known as crypto tourism.
What is Crypto Tourism?
In addition, you can use cryptocurrencies to purchase packaged tours or side attractions. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of packaged tours organized explicitly for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, including lectures or courses on cryptocurrencies. This is fairly niche, and we may soon see more general tourism activities that make it possible for tourists to pay with digital currencies.
With the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, crypto tourism focused mainly on those “crypto-rich” – the people who gained a lot of wealth in cryptocurrencies. That explains why the early tours were heavily focused on lectures or crypto-promoting events. However, regular people can also participate in crypto tourism by paying for their vacations using digital coins.
Crypto tourism became more recognized in 2018-2019, with different tourism industries putting together tours targeting participants from the blockchain industry. Aside from fun activities, tour packages were designed entirely with crypto enthusiasts in mind. The packages included luxury travel experiences, lectures, and other amenities dedicated to cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
Despite the growth of crypto tourism, it proved to be just as susceptible to broader tourism trends as the rest of the world as it was halted by the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020. One can see the fall of tourism paralleled the crashing of bitcoin down to around $4,000 in March of 2020. The two have both climbed back since those low points. And now that many countries are currently reopening their tourism industries, there is speculation that crypto tourism can grow and expand as an industry.
What Kind of Demographics Might Choose To Pay In Crypto Currency
According to Forbes Magazine, the younger male demographic in the U.S, 43% between 18 and 25, has mentioned that they have bought, used, or traded one type of cryptocurrency or another. However, the demographics also show that men are more likely to only pay cryptocurrency with a 12% difference in currencies users.
An interesting note is that lower-income earners have been found to have used cryptocurrency more than medium and higher-income earners put together. That means that lower-income earners may be most likely only to pay cryptocurrency. This suggests that destinations that welcome budget travelers or accommodations like hostels that are open to a lower budget may also stand to benefit from knowing more about crypto tourism.
Another kind of travel and tourism trend that comes into play with crypto tourism is the rise of the digital nomad. These remote workers have found ways of living comfortably off cryptocurrencies by moving to countries with little to no charges imposed on digital currencies. One prominent example is Portugal, which has a 0% tax on cryptocurrency and capital gains.
Long-Stay Traveling Where Crypto Currency Isn’t Taxed
To dive further into this example, we can see the crypto tourism trend being influenced by the destinations that are friendly to cryptocurrency. Crypto tourists, then, will be those that take advantage of those trends by making short and long-term plans involving those destinations.
Recently, a Dutch family that had sold all their physical property and decided to buy bitcoin in 2017 to travel chose to settle down in Portugal because of the tax-friendly situation surrounding cryptocurrencies in Portugal. After having traveled to 40 countries over five years (and having their bitcoin stored in vaults on four continents), this family is exchanging the travel that their cryptocurrency lifestyle had enabled for the benefits of a life based in Portugal. For them, the 0% tax on cryptocurrency and capital gains (as per the Portuguese tax authority in 2019) are turning them from crypto tourists into something a bit more permanent.
Still, the overarching message is clear: crypto-friendly laws and regulations can attract crypto tourists on both a short and long timeline.
Crypto tourists, like digital nomads, who are looking for a long-term residence could be interested in finding places to travel where cryptocurrency is not taxed. The list below presents a few of the others:
In Germany, bitcoin is exempted from Value Added Taxes (VAT). Bitcoin is not considered a currency in Germany, and therefore it cannot be taxed if you have owned it for a year. Likewise, other cryptocurrencies in Germany are not taxed. Germany is a great place to travel and enjoy a tax-free crypto-tourism experience.
In Malta, long-held cryptocurrencies are exempted from taxation. Though cases where cryptocurrencies are bought and sold within a day are handled similarly to trading stocks, which result in a taxable business income, holding crypto for more than a year has its benefits. For crypto tourists considering the livability of a destination, Malta is safe, has good walkability, and fast internet. It is a great place to travel long-term without crypto taxation.
There is no taxation if you plan to invest in cryptocurrencies as a long-term investment in Singapore. However, note that buying and selling digital coins as a business or an individual is taxable. The profits are considered to be income. As long as you don’t resort to trading during your trip, Singapore is great for crypto tourism.
Like in Singapore, Malaysia does not impose a capital gains tax. Malaysia currently has no tax attached to cryptocurrencies and their transactions. Since using cryptocurrencies in Malaysia is still free, it is a great place to travel.
Travelling Where Crypto is A Big Industry
With more and more cities taking up crypto tourism, individuals interested in spending their digital coins while vacationing are interested in finding out where they can do so easily. Below are just a few of the cities around the world that have embraced payment with virtual currencies.
There are over forty locations where you can spend cryptocurrency (especially bitcoin) in Amsterdam. These locations include; coffee shops, restaurants, bike repair shops, and barbershops. Therefore, travelling to Amsterdam should be pretty easy for a crypto tourist. There are also Bitcoin ATMs in Amsterdam where you can withdraw money in the city.
Since San Francisco is the technology capital of the US., it comes as no surprise that it is one of the places crypto is a big industry. As such, crypto tourists can travel comfortably. You’re sure to find hundreds of businesses that accept digital coins as a form of payment. In addition, Coinbase and Kraken, two crypto trading platforms, are based in the city, so it seems likely this will be an interesting space to watch crypto tourism develop..
The city has over six hundred bitcoin ATMs and tellers with dozens of merchants who accept cryptocurrency payments. One of the oldest conventions of the crypto industry, the Miami Bitcoin Conference, is based in Miami, and the government is determined to attract blockchain businesses in Miami. With its beautiful beaches and proximity to the sea, Miami is ideal for crypto tourism.
The historic city of London beckons crypto tourists to come and vacation in a space where they can pay for services using their digital coins. The capital of the United Kingdom boasts about 50 bitcoin ATMs and almost as many businesses that accept digital currency payments.
The city also boasts dozens of meetup groups for cryptocurrency enthusiasts where crypto tourists may join in and have fruitful conversations with individuals of like mind. Vacationing in London as a crypto tourist should be a fun and easy to navigate activity as the city has provisions for making crypto payments.
How Travel and Tourism Businesses Can Attract Cryptotourists
Though we’ve discussed cities and countries that could be interesting to crypto tourists looking to travel for shorter vacations or longer-term moves, travel and tourism businesses can also take advantage of this trend.
- Cryptocurrency-Friendly Online Travel Agencies – There are a number of platforms like Travala that promote the use of crypto currencies, making booking accessible through a large number of coins. When possible, you could create a section of your own site that promotes which booking engines you’re associated with that accept crypto currency.
- Your Own Travel Cryptocurrency Policy – Are you a travel agency that accepts digital currencies for 100% of the adventure – from accommodations to tour guide tips, and everything in between? Do you accept down payments to secure the booking in fiat currency, and the remainder in crypto? However you decide is best for your company, having a clear policy written up will help others understand your position.
Share Your Destination’s Cryptocurrency News – Depending on the stage your tourist is in their buyer’s journey, they could still be making a decision about where to travel. Being a resource for cryptotourists could mean sharing what other businesses in your area accept cryptocurrency, your country’s policies on using digital currency, and more.