Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism sector has been hit hard by the severe closures imposed around the world. In a bid to boost its tourism industry, Thailand is now looking to take the crypto route to get the sector back in order.
According to recent reports, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is considering launching its own cryptocurrency – TAT Coin. This step aims to make the country more attractive to crypto-investors and tourists.
The agency is currently in talks with the Thailand Stock Exchange on the best course of action to release the token. This would involve the transfer of vouchers into digital tokens and allow operators to earn more cash. That being said, reports suggest that speculating on the price of the token for trading purposes would not be allowed.
Besides the details of the implementation, the TAT should go through the relevant regulations and viability studies before moving forward. Since this is a state agency, the tourist authority will first have to determine whether it is even authorized to issue this type of digital token.
It must also obtain permission from the Kingdom’s Securities & Exchange Board, which has been reluctant to issue similar licenses to operators.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn believes technological innovations like cryptocurrencies are changing the way the world works. He wants to maximize this opportunity to improve the competitiveness of the tourism supply chain by adopting short-term measures that would attract potential travelers. According to the executive,
“We need to prepare the digital infrastructure and digital literacy for our tourism operators to start cryptourism, as the traditional business model might not be able to keep up with the new changes.”
The state-backed agency has stepped up efforts to attract crypto-nomads by turning the country into a crypto-hub. He is also pushing “cryptourism” by developing a Bitcoin debit card that would be available to visitors at the airport to be used while traveling.
In the long term, TAT hopes to grow the country’s tourism platform with a local cryptocurrency exchange called Bitkub. It will feature not only the TAT Coin, but other cryptocurrencies and NFTs, which can be used to drive demand in the cryptocurrency market.
Earlier this year, TAT sought to target Japanese cryptocurrency holders with the aim of increasing the productivity of the sector. This was done by conducting a feasibility study on the implementation of digital currencies in tourist destinations. The agency also spoke with tourism operators such as hotels to prepare for the new practices of its long-term plan.