Senegal Tour Operator (STO) is the first tour operator to accept digital currency payments, as the country looks to establish its first cryptocurrency-based tour service.
In a press release issued on Monday, STO said its Tour Operator, Senegal Tour (SOT), will accept digital currencies as payment, in addition to cash.SOT, which is located in Dakar, will accept payments in bitcoins and Ethereum, which have recently surpassed the $2,500 mark.
Bitcoin has been gaining in popularity in the country, but its value has remained largely unchanged.
“We see the opportunities for the technology in tourism, especially when it comes to reducing travel time, especially during winter months,” said Mariam Ali, CEO of STO.SOTS’ new Tour Operating Agreement (TOA) with STO, which will come into effect from March 1, also includes a virtual currency exchange, where visitors can trade virtual currencies for cash.
This allows visitors to earn back some of the value of their digital currencies, while helping to mitigate the impact of the country’s ongoing recession.
“It’s a step in the right direction, as we hope it will attract more tourists,” Ali told CNN.
According to Ali, the Tour Operative Association of Senegal (TOP), which oversees the STO Tour Operatrix, expects to open up a digital currency exchange by the end of March.