Government invests in bitcoin boost for Bundaberg tourism
Published Wednesday, 01 August, 2018 at 01:16 PM
Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Kate Jones
A startup company set to drive more tourists to Central Queensland by selling travel experiences online using cryptocurrency is one of 70 companies that will receive a grant as part of more than $8.3 million in Palaszczuk Government innovation funding announced today.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones today announced TravelbyBit was among the latest round of companies to receive Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding.
“Tourism is one of Queensland’s most important industries. TravelbyBit has devised a clever way to make it easier for visitors to our state to pay for their purchases with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments,” she said.
“Ignite Ideas was about supporting entrepreneurs from across Queensland to grow their businesses and employ more staff.
“I understand TravelbyBit is specifically targeting places like Bundaberg – using cryptocurrency to make it easier for tourists to book holidays.
“That’s why we’ve invested to help them scale-up their operation and ultimately create more jobs in Queensland.
Ms Jones said the companies supported through Ignite Ideas had products that were on the cusp of commercialisation, or ready to scale up for new markets.
“This funding will help the companies to ramp up market development and expand their workforce,” she said.
“Through a highly competitive, independently assessed process they showed they have the innovated products the talent and the right mindset to take their businesses to new levels and new markets.
“The Palaszczuk Government has now supported 271 Queensland businesses totalling $34.65 million through four rounds of Ignite Ideas, driving more than one thousand new jobs.”
TravelbyBit is a digital currency payments platform for the travel and tourism industry and enables businesses to accept payments in digital currencies like Bitcoin in a simple and secure manner.
TravelbyBit co-founder and CEO Caleb Yeoh said the $100,000 from round four Ignite Ideas funding would allow the company to build upon the success it has already achieved in connecting local Queensland merchants to cryptocurrency-spending tourists.
“We have partnered with Brisbane Airport Corporation to launch the world’s first digital currency friendly airport and have integrated our cutting edge blockchain powered point-of-sale system across the regional tourism towns of 1770 and Agnes Water,” he said.
“With this next phase of technology, we are targeting a different brand of tourist – the tech-savvy traveller from anywhere in the world who are looking to book their travel experiences ahead of their trip and use digital currency to pay for their travels.
"They can now pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, XEM and soon BNB.
“We have more than 150 merchants across Australia using our system and this funding, to develop a purpose-built platform that will accept digital currencies from anywhere in the world, will allow us to add jobs not only directly to our team but also across the broader tourism industry.”
Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Steve Baxter said the Ignite Ideas funding would help the 70 businesses take their next big step forward.
“Access to capital is one of the key challenges for early stage startups. The Ignite Ideas grants provide a source of funding that can take these businesses to the next level, helping them commercialise quickly,” Mr Baxter said.
Ignite Ideas is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $650 million Advance Queensland initiative.
Visit the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund web page at https://advance.qld.gov.au/entrepreneurs-and-startups-industry-small-business/ignite-ideas-fund for more information on the program and its recipients.
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