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Venezuelan economy has been in the strong clutches of severe economic crisis for quite some time now. According to the International Monetary Fund, consumer-price inflation is forecast to hit 480% this year and top 1,640% in 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported.
With the rigid exchange control in place since 2003, Bolivar, the Venezuelan national currency, has been steadily decreasing in value.
Local media reports suggest that in such difficult monetary situation, bitcoin has been gaining greater user support in the country. Surbitcoin.com, which considers itself the top bitcoin market in Venezuela, confirms that between August 2014 and November 2016 the number of users of the cryptocurrency soared from 450 to 85,000.
Faced in such a situation, leading travel agency Destinia has decided to operate exclusively in bitcoins in order to further facilitate reservations by local travelers. The company has been accepting bitcoins since 2014 for all products and services offered on its website.
“Venezuelans not only have many difficulties leaving the country, however also in paying with credit cards, as they can only do so in the local currency. Giving priority to Bitcoin as a payment method could be of help”, notes Victor Oliva, Head of the Transportation Department at Destinia.
Destinia said that although Venezuela is not among its strategic markets, reservations to date in 2016 have grown by 34%. Among the most searched destinations for hotel bookings outside of the capital, Havana, Margarita Island, Madrid and Varadero are at the top. The most demanded flight routes are from Caracas to Madrid, Santiago de Chile, Cumana (Venezuela) and Mexico City.