Looking for ways to heal its pandemic-stricken travel industry, Thailand now recognizes an opportunity to tap into a growing market of cryptocurrency holders. Fostering an “atmosphere of crypto-tourism” is what the country’s tourism agency intends to do, including minting a new token and making bitcoin card payments easier.
Thailand Tourism Board plans to employ new coin to boost demand in crypto market
Thinking about how to capitalize on the growing global crypto user base, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) came up with the idea of ââissuing its own utility token dubbed TAT Coin. The Bangkok Post revealed on Wednesday that the body wanted to examine the relevant regulations and the viability of such a project before embarking on the initiative.
The state-run agency is currently in talks with the Thailand Stock Exchange over the possible introduction of the token, the report details, citing TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn. TAT Coin would allow the transfer of travel vouchers into digital tokens that could help operators earn more cash, the newspaper added, without being speculatively traded.
Another aspect that needs to be clarified is whether the tourist board has the power to issue a digital currency in the first place. Either way, Yuthasak pointed out that technology is changing the world, and cryptocurrency is part of that process. In his view, TAT must grasp the risk and improve the competitiveness of the Thai tourism sector which has been heavily affected by the spread of Covid-19. The manager clarified:
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.
TAT’s short-term goal is to increase industry revenue by attracting travelers and potential visitors. The long-term plan, according to the report, is to upgrade the national business and leisure tourism platform in cooperation with Bitkub, a local cryptocurrency exchange.
The authority hopes to use the future TAT Coin, or a non-fungible token (TVN), to encourage market demand for cryptocurrencies and increase traffic to specific tourist sites. Bitkub CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa was quoted, noting that the global crypto market capitalization is now four times the gross domestic product (GDP) of Thailand.
As part of its initiative to create an “atmosphere of crypto-tourism,” the Tourism Authority of Thailand is also considering offering bitcoin debit card services at airports across the country. Crypto-nomads, according to the agency, can use these cards on their travels to make purchases without having to pay high fees at ATMs or exchange offices. In August, the Bank of Thailand announcement it will test its own digital currency, which can also facilitate payments in the travel industry.
Do you think Thailand will become a crypto-friendly travel destination? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
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