‘Bitcoin Boost’: Australian State Government Invests in Crypto Startup for Tourism

The government of Queensland, Australia’s second largest and third-most populous state, is backing a local crypto payments startup that officials believe will help boost tourism in the state.

 

In an announcement on its official website on Wednesday, the Queensland government revealed details of an AUD$8.3 million grant given to 70 domestic companies looking to innovate in the region. Pointedly, the announcement pinned Queensland-based crypto payments startup TravelbyBit as the headlining act in describing it as “a startup company set to drive more tourists to Central Queensland by selling travel experiences online using cryptocurrency.”

 

In statements after announcing the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas grant to the crypto startup, Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones said:

 

“Tourism is one of Queensland’s most important industries. TravelbyBit has devised a clever way to make it easier for visitors to our state to pay for their purchases with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments.”

 

TravelbyBit’s point-of-sale cryptocurrency payments app is currently in use among over 30 local businesses including resorts, tour operators and restaurants in Agnes Water, a beach-side tourist getaway now billed as Australia’s first ‘digital currency town’. The town’s own welcome sign labels itself as such, with bitcoin, bitcoin cash, NEM, litecoin and ethereum highlighted as the five cryptocurrencies accepted through the payments app.

 

“I understand TravelbyBit is specifically targeting places like Bundaberg (a coastal city in Queensland) – using cryptocurrency to make it easier for tourists to book holidays,” she said, adding “That’s why we’ve invested to help them scale-up their operation and ultimately create more jobs in Queensland.”

 

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