Thailand is a popular tourist destination around the world. The number of international arrivals every year has steadily increased to millions, as has the sector’s revenue. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), a ministry-run organization, is turning to technology to capitalize on the growing popularity of digital currencies by developing its own utility token.
The pandemic has had a negative impact on Thailand’s economy, and the government is looking for ways to mitigate the problem. The Thai government has declared that, beginning November 1, it will lift the quarantine for vaccinated travelers in Bangkok and nine other regions, in the hopes of restoring the country’s economy, which has been one of the slowest in East Asia and the Pacific.
According to media reports, Kiattipong Ariapruchya, the World Bank’s top economist for Thailand, claimed that the Thai economy will take longer to recover due to the delay in the return of foreign tourists.
Thailand is one of the first Southeast Asian countries to implement digital currency legislation, while non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are still illegal.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said,
“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.”
Yuthasak, noting the potential of digital currencies, believes there is a chance to increase Thailand’s tourism business. The TAT hopes to collaborate with Bitkub, a local digital currency exchange, to create a tourist platform that will include the TAT Coin and maybe non-fungible tokens.
The TAT is also in talks with the Thailand Stock Exchange about its plans to launch the TAT Coin and how value may be transferred without introducing speculative features of trade.
Officials claimed the TAT currency will include the conversion of vouchers into digital tokens, which might enable merchants make more money.
The TAT intends to foster a cryptourism environment by providing a bitcoin debit card at airports that digital currency nomads may use without incurring additional fees at ATMs or money exchanges.
Long-stay digital currency nomads, who have the option to work anywhere and are considered large spenders in the tourism business, benefit from the workcation trend as well. The idea for the TAT coin launch, however, will have to navigate Thailand’s complicated legal framework and laws before becoming a reality.