Thailand New Tourism Move Targets Crypto Investors
Published: November 30, 2021 at 2:56 pm
The TAT or Tourism Authority of Thailand aims to draw wealthy cryptocurrency investors as part of its latest move to revive the country’s tourism sector that has been affected by the pandemic.
According to Bloomberg, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn is collaborating with local cryptocurrency companies and exchanges to start accepting cryptocurrency for travel.
Thailand, a tourism-dependent country has suffered an economic loss of $80 billion as a result of the pandemic. Prior to Covid, the country welcomed approximately 40 million foreign arrivals every year.
Supasorn wants crypto elite individuals to make travel easy and spend their crypto assets in the country.
If they can use their currencies here without having to exchange it, or be faced with government taxes, then it would create convenience for them.
There have been mixed reactions on accepting cryptocurrency in Thailand, with the financial regulators and central bank being against cryptocurrency assets.
In Thailand, digital assets are not legal money, and only a few merchants accept Bitcoin, much alone any other digital currency as a payment option. Last May, Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office said that as of July, crypto exchanges are required to physically check new accounts.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand intends to establish its own cryptocurrency, TAT Coin, that will serve as a “cryptourism” campaign in order to lure digital nomads. According to a Bangkok Post report published last week, the infrastructure is ready to go, but it is awaiting government permission.
“Since crypto is the future, we must develop Thailand into a crypto-positive culture in order to attract this group of high-quality tourists,” Yuthasak added. He expects that tourism will reach pre-Covid levels in 2024.
Since March 2020, Thailand has been under lockdown and essentially restricted foreign tourists from entering the country. Although COVID-19 numbers have decreased dramatically, Thai officials have been very cautious about reopening and reducing restrictions.
Despite a modest re-opening on November 1 for fully vaccinated tourists coming from 60 countries, the once-popular vacation destination welcomed just a handful of foreign tourists. While quarantine protocols have been somewhat loosened, many tourism-related businesses remain closed. Entertainment, nightlife, and alcohol, all of which are sought after by many tourists traveling to Thailand, are still covered with restrictions or banned in some provinces.
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