The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has stated that it is considering launching its own utility token, named TAT Coin, as part of a planned ‘crypto-campaign.’ The country is identifying an opportunity to tap into the burgeoning community of bitcoin holders as it seeks methods to repair its vacation economy, which has been harmed by the pandemic.
The tourism body says it has already held negotiations with Thailand’s Stock Exchange over the digital currency’s issuance.
The infrastructure underlying the TAT Coin is ready, according to a recent story from the Bangkok Post. It is in the process of approval from the Thai government.
Thailand Pursuing Crypto Tourism
Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, stated that fintech and cryptocurrency are transforming the globe, and Thailand must adapt.
“We have to prepare digital infrastructure and digital literacy for our tourism operators in order to commence cryptourism as the traditional business model might not be able to keep up with the new changes,”
Thailand is one of the most frequented international destinations in the world. The tourist sector accounts for about 20% of total GDP in a pre-pandemic world. Before the pandemic, the TAT estimated that up to 40 million tourists visited Thailand each year. The country remains under curfew and total lockdown. Thailand is mainly open to tourists who must go through tight and expensive quarantine procedures. The number has decreased to a few thousand.
Thailand’s lively nightlife and restaurant scene were closed or tightly restricted by the military-backed government. However, there are expectations that it could reopen before the end of the year.
Policymakers should approve the implementation of TAT Coin as soon as feasible, according to Jirayut Srupsrisopa, the founder and CEO of the local crypto exchange, Bitkub.
“Private sectors are ready to provide digital infrastructure, but we’re just waiting for the government to press the button by enacting laws, regulations or even policies to help facilitate digital asset markets,” he said. “Our national GDP could grow six times if we can strengthen this market.”
Bitkub just became Thailand’s latest start-up to be at a value of more than $1 billion. This is after selling a controlling stake to Siam Commercial Bank Pcl, the country’s largest bank by market value.
The bank paid $535 million for 51 percent of Bitkub, valuing the country’s largest crypto exchange operator at $1.09 billion.
Crypto-Nomads to Boost Thai Real Estate Market
Crypto tourism is a new trend that has been growing in popularity, especially among those who are enthusiastic about cryptocurrency.
The ‘cryptourism’ campaign, according to TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn, entails “building a new tourism ecosystem that utilizes digital technologies to allow wealthy populations, including cryptocurrency holders, to channel their money directly to tourism operators without the use of agents or brokers.”
According to Thai investment property developer Atanop Phanthukom, this isn’t the only way crypto nomads can assist Thailand. The CEO of Cissa Group also thinks that cryptocurrency-based nomads will become an option to increase trading in the country. This would consequently assist in strengthening the Thai real estate market.
“Due to the role of cryptocurrencies and their value as gold nowadays, which can be used to exchange goods and services in real life, cryptocurrency investors are considered a group of people with high purchasing power,” he said.
He adds that many countries acknowledge while Thailand is in its early stages.
While crypto trading is still legal in Thailand, financial officials have put in place a variety of restrictions to keep activity under check.
The central bank of Thailand outlawed THT, a Thai Baht stablecoin, in March, stating that it would jeopardize the local currency.
Thailand has also imposed restrictions on transactions to and from exchanges and banks.