Agnes Water, a beach town situated five hours north of Brisbane International Airport, has proclaimed itself to be the first “digital currency-friendly” tourist town in Australia. Over 30 businesses now accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment in Agnes Water – despite being home to just over two thousand residents.
Agnes Water Seeks to Leverage Crypto to Boost Tourism
The town’s decision to embrace cryptocurrency was reportedly the brainchild of local real estate agent, Gordon Christian.
Mr. Christian said that he first became aware of cryptocurrency when a client enquired as to how to process bitcoin payments, however, his interest peaked after discovering that a number of businesses had announced that they would accept cryptocurrency payments at Brisbane Airport.
“I thought, ‘This is something worth having a look at’,” Mr. Christian said, “We started from the ground up, shared it with a couple of businesses and they were straight on board […] I guess they were international travelers themselves and had heard of these types of payments. Initially, we had a good 10 businesses that just said, ‘Fine — let’s go for it’.”
Support for Crypto Spread Quickly Among Local Businesses
As the idea caught on among Agnes Water businesses, Mr. Christian states that the town increasingly wanted to tailor its tourism toward the “digital traveler.”
Mr. Christian recounts the number of businesses embracing cryptocurrency quickly growing, stating “So it started out as, ‘Well, how would they get here? Could we provide a shuttle service to bring them from the airport or the railway station?’ Then [we considered], ‘Where would they stay and what are they going to do when they get here?’.”
31 local businesses now accept cryptocurrency payments in Agnes Water, including resorts, backpackers, tour companies, restaurants, the local pub.
Japanese Crypto Tourists Expected to Visit Agnes Water This Week
Agnes Water’s support for cryptocurrencies has been aided by the services of Travelbybit Australia. Caleb Yeoh, the chief executive of Travelbybit, was approached by Mr. Christian in November after the realtor became aware of the company’s roll-out of its point-of-sale app facilitating cryptocurrency payments at the Brisbane Airport.
Mr. Yeoh stated, “If you travel around the world you have to deal with multiple currencies, the exchange rate can be confusing, sometimes you struggle to find ATMs, and sometimes you get swindled by money changers […] Travelling with on global currency like bitcoin […] makes sense.”
“The town has made a very strategic move in trying to appeal to a niche market to take perhaps some of those tourists … to come out to their little part of the woods. People who use cryptocurrency … it’s a social movement and they believe in it, and therefore they support places … who take it. So they would come to a place like this just because it takes digital currency.”
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