Thailand: ‘Cryptourism’ on the agenda as agency considers launching TAT Coin
Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, the tourism sector was badly affected by harsh lockdowns imposed worldwide. In a bid to boost its tourism industry, Thailand is now seeking 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 intends to make the country more appealing to crypto-investors and tourists alike.
The agency is currently in talks with Thailand’s Stock Exchange about the best course of action to release the token. This would involve the transfer of vouchers into digital tokens and enabling operators to gain more liquidity. That being said, reports suggest speculating on the token’s price for the purpose of trading wouldn’t be allowed.
Other than the nitty-gritty of implementation, TAT would have to traverse through relevant regulations and viability studies before going forward. Since it is a state agency, the tourism authority will first have to determine whether it even has the authority to issue this type of digital token.
It also has to obtain permission from the Kingdom’s Securities & Exchange Board – which has been reluctant to issue similar licenses to operators.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn believes that technological innovations such as cryptocurrencies are changing the way the world operates. He wants to optimize this opportunity to enhance the competitiveness of the tourism supply chain by enacting such short-term measures that would attract potential travelers. According to the exec,
“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.”
The state-backed agency has been increasing its efforts towards roping in crypto-nomads by turning the country into a crypto-hub. It is also pushing “cryptourism” by developing a Bitcoin debit card that would be available to visitors at the airport to be used on their trip.
In the long term, TAT is hoping to develop 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 for spurring demand from the crypto-market.
Earlier this year, TAT had sought to target Japanese cryptocurrency holders in a bid to boost the sector’s productivity. This was done by conducting a feasibility study on implementing digital currencies at tourism destinations. The agency also spoke to tourism operators such as hotels to prepare for new practices in its long-term plan.