Home CryptocurrencyAltcoin How Bitcoin ATMs Are Doing in Greece During Record Tourist Season

How Bitcoin ATMs Are Doing in Greece During Record Tourist Season

by SuperiorInvest

Greece is recognized worldwide for its tourist attractions of idyllic beaches and relaxed lifestyle. Prior to the outbreak of the global pandemic, the World Travel and Tourism Council reported that tourism generated more than one-fifth of Greece’s total GDP.

This year, the country faced a record number of travelers during the summer tourist season. According to Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, the country received almost 1 million travelers per week in the month of August alone.

AND message from ForwardKeys on this year’s summer tourism industry revealed that out of the top ten “sun and beach” locations in Europe, Greece has six places. These included the island destinations of Mykonos, Thira (Santorini) and Heraklion (Crete), as well as Thessaloniki. Athens, the country’s capital, ranked third in “urban” destinations in Europe.

Among the 27 member states of the European Union, Greece is in sixth place when it comes to cryptocurrency ATMs, with 64 active for use. Athens and Thessaloniki share over half of Greek crypto ATMs.

However, Bitcoin ATM operator BCash has strategically placed some of its ATMs in the trendy island destinations of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. Cointelegraph spoke with CEO and co-founder of BCash, Dimitrios Tsangalidis, about how cryptocurrencies are influencing, or themselves influencing, the tourist season in Greece.

Although Mykonos and Santorini are the most visited tourist destinations, according to Tsangalidis, most of the traffic is at mainland ATMs – especially in downtown Athens, where the first ATM was installed, and in Thessaloniki.

However, the co-founder noted that Crete, the country’s most populous island and a popular tourist destination, has a “very loyal cryptocurrency crowd.”

“There is a strong crypto community in Heraklion, Crete [which is] the location of one of our ATMs.”

In Heraklion, the capital of Crete, local startup accelerator H2B Hub has partnered with the Greek-speaking University of Nicosia to create and support a local blockchain community.

Both Athens and Thessaloniki have active, regular cryptocurrency meetings and blockchain communities.

While tourism boosts parts of the Greek economy, according to Tsangalidis, this does not translate into the crypto scene. “Unfortunately, the absolute opposite is happening,” says Tsangalidis.

“During the summer months and the main tourist season, demand drops. But we’re in the middle of the crypto winter that came earlier this year, so it’s really hard to say.”

Especially from the point of view of regular traffic, the decline can be compared to the departure of locals on vacation.

Related: Tourists flock to El Salvador despite bitcoin bear market

Greece in general needs more awareness of cryptocurrencies and their usefulness in everyday life, Tsangalidis sums up.

“The impact on local tourism can only be seen if there is widespread adoption of cryptocurrency in society.”

He adds that for now there is no infrastructure or adoption from the level of Greek businesses and local governments. “If our government becomes crypto-friendly and if businesses get the green light, adoption will follow.”

In May of this year, the president of the Hellenic National Tourism Organization, Angela Gerekou, said that the country is currently exploring how blockchain technology can bring security and transparency to the tourism industry.

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