The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) plans to launch its own cryptocurrency to make the Kingdom more attractive to tourists and crypto investors.
The TAT Coin was launched by the Tourism Board of Thailand, which aims to capitalize on a growing number of cryptocurrency holders and investors.
The agency is currently in talks with the Thailand Stock Exchange regarding the digital token which would be used in conjunction with vouchers, but would not be tradable according to reports.
The state-backed tourism agency is also expected to get clearance and regulatory approval from the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission, which has already shown reluctance to issue licenses for crypto operators.
Thailand is fishing for crypto tourism
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said fintech and cryptocurrency are changing the world and Thailand needs to keep pace.
“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 agency has big plans to turn Thailand into a crypto hub, but financial regulators are still wary of digital assets. The TAT could begin to develop its “crypto-tourism” by offering a bitcoin debit card in airports that “crypto-nomads” can use on their travels. For now, it’s still just a concept, just like the TAT Coin.
The TAT had previously claimed that up to 40 million tourists visited Thailand a year before the pandemic struck. Today that number has fallen to a few thousand as the country remains under a curfew, full lockdown and largely closed to tourists who must go through strict and expensive quarantine procedures.
Thailand’s vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene, which was one of its biggest draws, remains closed or severely restricted by the military-backed government, though there are hopes of reopening before the end of this year.
Thailand’s economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism, is at the bottom of the regional recovery chart according to the world Bank.
While crypto trading remains available in Thailand for the time being, financial regulators have introduced a number of barriers to limit activity.
In March, the central bank banned a Thai baht stablecoin called THT, saying it would endanger the local currency.
In May, the Kingdom’s anti-money laundering office introduced strict KYC (know your customer) regulations that required new crypto exchange users to come in person to verify their identity.
Limits on transfers to and from exchanges and banks have also been imposed in Thailand.
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