Glas Slavonije spoke to Jasmina. “Paying for accommodation with cryptocurrencies from now on in our boutique. In step with the times. We might be located in a historic building, but our spirit is young. Cryptocurrency players welcome #cryptocurrency #wherecanIspendBitcoin #paycek”, says as of this week the Facebook page of Guesthouse Maksimilian, which, precisely thanks to the skill and courage of its owners to always combine modern and traditional, in the past seven or eight years has received valuable recognition from travellers who ranked it among the 25 best in Croatia, among the top 10 in Croatia in terms of hospitality, and several other recognitions that gain additional meaning, because they come from guests, service users, or tourists themselves.
It is thus not surprising that Maksimilian is the first guesthouse in Osijek that allowed payment with cryptocurrencies, but also among the few in all of Croatia that decided to take that step.
“I’ve been thinking about this for a year and a half, actually since the possibility of paying with cryptocurrencies appeared”, says Krkić Poznić, adding that in the end, she came to the position that paying with cryptocurrencies is a “full-time job”. “I was researching models of how we could introduce the possibility of paying for our services with cryptocurrencies. I realised that cryptocurrencies are used by a very large number of people in the world, but recently also in our country and that there is a need to use them in everyday life to buy goods and pay for services, to simplify things. In the past month, the boys who prepared the technical solution and the application found me”, explains Krkić Poznić, meaning a virtual currency exchange app.
According to her, she will not see cryptocurrencies at any time.
“Unfortunately, or fortunately, I will not even see cryptocurrencies, because the guest pays with virtual currency through the application, and I receive the full amount in kuna at the same time. I don’t have any contact with cryptocurrencies, the virtual exchange that takes them, and they pay me in kuna to the amount of the issued invoice. They, therefore, take on the business risk of trading cryptocurrencies” says Jasmina, emphasizing that he does not even know what model or “exchange rate” this is based on.
When asked if there is any risk of loss of value or fraud in the transaction, Jasmina says no, as the moment she issues the bill to the guest for the service used, the entire amount in kuna is credited to her account.
“If there even was a way of paying with cryptocurrencies in Croatia, I would be in trouble, because I am not familiar with the management of virtual money. On the other hand, there are more and more people who own cryptocurrencies and want to use them. In our country, too, some gas stations, retail chains, and post offices accept cryptocurrency, according to the same principle as I do. It’s a local company and if big players work with them, then that’s enough of a guarantee for me”, claims Jasmina.
Considering that payment with cryptocurrencies has taken off in our country, it is logical that our tourism employees adapt to the new conditions, as well as to the wishes of tourists. Those who have even a superficial understanding of the world of cryptocurrencies say that it is a simpler and far safer way of payment than when you must carry cash or cards with you. For now, the only drawback is that there are still very few places that accept “virtual money” as a payment currency.
“I don’t think that there will be a big rush of cryptocurrency owners, but they should be given the opportunity no matter how much we might shy away from change. There is, however, a whole world of IT people and cryptocurrency owners who like to travel, go on excursions, and go to good restaurants. For these people, the fact that they can pay in cryptocurrencies can be the deciding factor when choosing their destination”, Jasmina Krkić Poznić concludes with satisfaction.
60 booked for autumn
Although summer is not a peak period for tourism on the continent, Jasmina was asked how this part of the season was going, and how the preparations are going for autumn, which local tourism workers are looking forward to.
This year there are just as many tourists as there were before the pandemic. There are even more domestic guests, she claims, recalling that before the pandemic, a significant number of guests in the summer period were tourists from Australia and New Zealand.
“They haven’t come back yet. More domestic guests are coming, and I notice that the profile of the guests is also changing. We were rarely a destination where people would come for holidays, it was mostly about travelling. They would stay for a night on their way to the south, however, this year some tourists would stay up to three or four days. French and Italian and those who don’t like crowds look for solitude and don’t want to go to the sea. Such people discover us” says owner Maksimiliana with satisfaction.
She reminds us that autumn, that is, September – October, is their full season.
“We are already about 60 percent booked. Business events, meetings, seminars, congresses, conferences are starting, plus the tourist part, we are ready to welcome all our dear guests” she points out.
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