Venezuela reopens Hotel Humboldt, services can be paid with cryptocurrency Petro

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CARACAS, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday reopened the Hotel Humboldt as a pilot project where services can be paid with the country's newly-launched virtual currency Petro.

There will be a currency exchange inside the hotel for customers to get Petro, said Maduro. "You can come from Italy, Germany, Argentina and come to know the beauty of our lovely Venezuela."

The president added that he wanted the Petro to be used as the preferred cryptocurrency in the country's entire hotel system. "Each hotel should have a currency exchange to improve the ecosystem of the Petro," he said.

The Hotel Humboldt, located in the Waraira Repano national park near Caracas, was built in 1956. First known as a luxury hotel with 70 rooms, it was abandoned for many years until its reopening.

"We will show this marvelous hotel, as in the original plans of the master architect Tomas Sanabria, who led its construction in the 1950s," said Maduro as he visited the venue.

The government has signed an agreement with the franchisees of Marriott Hotels in Venezuela to run the hotel.

Maduro said that he wanted tourism to become the second source of foreign currency for Venezuela after oil.

Caracas launched the oil-backed cryptocurrency in February with a pre-sale stage, during which the government said it had raised 5 billion U.S. dollars.

The Venezuelan move is an attempt to overcome economic difficulties caused by sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. Enditem

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