Australia's Brisbane Airport has announced it will roll out cryptocurrency payments within the terminal shopping areas.
The new payment system, provided by cryptocurrency travel firm TravelbyBit, will enable travellers to use bitcoin, ethereum, dash and other digital currencies to shop and dine at various stores and restaurants across both of Brisbane's air terminals, a press release says.
Roel Hellemons, Brisbane Airport Corporation's (BAC) general manager of strategic planning and development, said that the airport is the first worldwide to incorporate cryptocurrency payments. The move, he said, "makes sense" because many people who have invested in cryptocurrencies travel internationally.
"This is just the beginning for us as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business."
According to TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh, the payment system presents a "genuine use case for cryptocurrencies" in the field of tourism.
"Here at TravelbyBit we are promoting the bitcoin travel movement. Digital currency for world-wide travel. It's simple, safe and there's no bank fees," Yeoh added.
The use of cryptocurrencies to boost tourism and related services is something that global politicians have increasingly being investigating.
In November, the head of Russia's Federal Agency for Tourism predicted that blockchain technology will transform the country's tourism industry.
"We are absolutely convinced in our federal agency that blockchain will seriously change the tourism market, although, in our opinion, it will happen not in two years but in 5–10 years," said Oleg Safonov at the time.
In the U.S., legislators in Hawaii have pushed for the creation of a working group dedicated to blockchain technology, with a focus on tourism payments.
Airport flight board image via Shutterstock