The German National Tourism Board has announced that it accepts cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin for its services. The organization promotes German travel destinations with offices in 32 countries around the world. GNTB also intends to implement blockchain technologies in its finances. “We want to be a global innovation driver in the tourism industry,” its chairperson recently stated.
Accepting Bitcoin to Drive Innovation
Services offered by the German National Tourism Board (GNTB) can now be paid in cryptocurrency. The organization which promotes Germany as a travel destination accepts bitcoin payments from March this year, according to a press release. It also announced “medium-term” plans to test blockchain technologies in the processing of its international financial transactions.
“Within our digitization strategy, we are constantly examining the latest technologies and considering their application in our organization,” said GNTB‘s Chair Petra Hedorfer. “By accepting cryptocurrencies as means of payment and with the possible implementation of the blockchain technology in our finances, we want to position ourselves as an innovation driver in the tourism industry,” she added.
The blockchain technology offers “interesting perspectives” in regards to the speed, transparency and security of financial transfers, the Board also notes. The announcement recognizes the “potential for tremendous improvements and savings” in international transactions.
Promoting the Bundesrepublik
For over six decades, the German National Tourism Board has been working to promote internationally travel opportunities in the the Federal Republic. It is constantly developing new marketing strategies and concepts based on specific themes, events and attractions. These are implemented under the “Destination Germany” brand that has been introduced on multiple markets around the globe.
GNTB says it is actively involved in efforts to optimize the marketing activities of its partners – German travel companies, commerce and trade associations. It also participates in sales activities in immerging and growing markets in order to increase the volume of tourist traffic and boost foreign currency receipts.
The Board is attempting to position Germany as a diverse and attractive travel destination, but also strengthen the country’s profile as a business location. To achieve that it offers an array of services in cooperation with German businesses – from transport and accommodation, to shopping opportunities and tourist attractions.
The German National Tourism Board was founded by the Bundestag. It represents the country on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. GNTB is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main and maintains offices in 32 countries around the world.
Leading in Adoption
Authorities in the major European economy have taken a relatively soft approach towards cryptocurrencies. Recently, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance announced that bitcoin should not be taxed when exchanged and used as means of payment. Its clarification notice effectively recognizes the most popular crypto as a currency. Bafin, Germany’s financial regulator, has advised investors in initial coin offerings to refer to regulations applicable to traditional financial instruments and comply with current requirements.
Decisions like these have created favorable conditions for bitcoin adoption in the country. Last year Germany’s largest food delivery portal, Lieferando.de, announced it had started accepting bitcoin payments, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. The company is owned by Takeaway.com BV which operates numerous online delivery services across Europe. This month German crypto media announced that Lieferando’s customers can now pay their orders in bitcoin cash, as well.
Do you think Germany will lead Europe towards wider adoption of cryptocurrency payments? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Author: Lubomir Tassev