Thailand Tourism Authority may soon issue its own cryptocurrency for visitors to the country. Thailand’s tourism authorities plan to call it TAT Coin.
This plan raises questions about why TAT is not focusing on well-established cryptocurrencies. Many people are interested in this potential move, especially in light of Thailand’s recent ban on non-fungible tokens.
Thailand’s SEC banned these tokens due to the growing belief that unregulated NFTs could cause economic instability. Some cryptocurrencies, like Dogecoin, even started out as jokes.
According to Yuthasak Supasorn, the TAT governor, tourism authorities are in communication with the Thai Securities Commission. Both organizations would need to work together to create and regulate TAT Coin.
Despite the SEC’s ban on NFTs, TAT officials recognize that cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular with tourists. Totally rejecting cryptocurrencies can be financially reckless.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism was one of Thailand’s most profitable industries. TAT leaders want to revive it.
Making tourism easy and attractive for cryptocurrency users is just one potential solution. Supasorn conveyed a forward-thinking philosophy that the country’s tourism industry must embrace digital literacy and digital infrastructure.
Otherwise, it can be left behind: many legitimate companies already accept certain cryptocurrencies, and a tourism industry that works early to do the same can reap tremendous rewards.
TAT Coin would require the transfer of vouchers to digital tokens, which Thai authorities believe could diminish the speculative nature of other cryptocurrencies.
It remains to be seen whether TAT Coin would attract potential visitors.
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, very few tourists visited Thailand last year. This tourism break has caused an economic blow to the country.
39.8 million foreign tourists visited Thailand in 2019. By 2020, that number had dropped to 6.7 million tourists, almost all of whom visited during the first quarter of the year – before countries around the world recognized the COVID-19 as an international threat.
Recently, however, Thailand lifted COVID-19 restrictions. For example, the country now allows fully vaccinated tourists to bypass quarantine when entering the country.