TAT urged to target wealthy crypto tourists

A new tourism ecosystem targeting global cryptocurrency holders could provide a huge boost to national GDP if the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) moves away from traditional marketing to attract new nano-entrepreneurs.

A sign announcing the acceptance of bitcoin at Lim Lao Ngow, a fishball noodle shop in Siam Square. Pawat Laupaisarntaksin

Bitkub Founder and CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa said that while Thailand’s GDP is around $ 500 billion, the cryptocurrency market is worth over $ 3 trillion.

He said the huge growth of this market has created wealthy individuals, and this group should be seen as potential clients for Thai tourism as financial technology, especially nanopayments, will allow them to work remotely from n to be paid anywhere and through transactions on blockchain technology, which incurs no fees and has lower costs than traditional finance.

Speaking at the “Transforming Tourism with Cryptourism” seminar yesterday, Mr Jirayut said these workers are becoming nano-entrepreneurs or crypto-nomads who are looking for a place to live that can also offer travel experiences.

“The private sectors are ready to provide digital infrastructure, but we are just waiting for the government to push the button by enacting laws, regulations or even policies to help facilitate markets for digital assets. Our national GDP could grow six times if we can strengthen this market, ”Jirayut said.

However, growth would start from a low base, as the National Council for Economic and Social Development forecast GDP growth this year at just 1.2%, while seeing growth of 3.5-4.5 % in 2022.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the digital tourism policy was meant to help cash-strapped tourism operators who suffered from the impact of the pandemic as they struggled to access aid financial sources of traditional funding.

He said the TAT is building a new tourism ecosystem that uses digital technologies to enable wealthy populations, including cryptocurrency holders, to channel their money directly to tourism operators without agents or brokers.

He said the majority of tourism operators being small or medium-sized businesses, most of them have limited liability, so TAT could act as a guarantor by issuing utility tokens and recruiting partner hotels to allocate their quotas. rooms as an asset-backed token.

Mr. Yuthasak said TAT will have further discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission about the possibility of TAT coins, a utility token that could be used with tourism products in Thailand.

“Due to TAT’s status as a state-owned enterprise, we need to discuss many regulatory issues with related parties prior to implementation. And there are also other preventive cybercrime and customer protection measures that we need to prepare, ”Mr. Yuthasak said.

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