El Salvador was the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Although there have been many pessimistic predictions about the impact on the nation, things seem to be moving in an opposite direction.
The tourism balance of El Salvador has shown a huge increase for the first half of 2022. According to government data, the country recorded an increase of 82.8% this year with up to 1.1 million visitors.
As a country that uses BTC as part of its tender, the impact of the price should have had on such data. But the increased earnings clouded the bearish trend of Bitcoin, which plunged by 50% since January 1, 2022.
The World Travel Organization (WTO) gave its balance sheet and confirmed the tourism claims of El Salvador. WTO data places the country among the top nations that have recovered well in tourism by January 2022.
The WTO report noted that the best comparison results for 2019 come from Central American destinations. It highlighted El Salvador with an increase of over 81% compared to 2019 or the pre-Covid pandemic level.
Alex Bonilla, Director General for Strategic Projects of the Ministry of Tourism of El Salvador expects even more tourists. In a radio interview, he said that the summer holidays bring even more tourists to the country..
Bonilla estimated that the country could have about 57,500 foreign visitors, exceeding the existing mark of 1.2 million. He also mentioned that with such visitors, the government would generate about $ 60 million through foreign exchange.
The high number of tourism in El Salvador contradicts the reports of the Wall Street Journal. WSJ reported that El Salvador’s intention to attract tourists by legalizing Bitcoin did not work.
The country data on visits from the first half of 2022 have overtaken the total for 2019. Last year, the country recorded 1.2 million visits. However, it already has 1.1 million visits in the first six months of 2022.
Since Bitcoin has been used as a legal means of payment in El Salvador, many Bitcoiners have been traveling to the country by the thousands. These include Jeff Both (author of Price of Tomorrow), Obi Nwosu (CEO of Fedimint) and Samson Mow (CEO of Jan3).
Also, some Bitcoin-centric companies are eager to support El Salvador’s BTC decision and become successful. People like Max Keiser and Stacey Herbert are now based in El Salvador.