Thailand aims to become a crypto-positive society as it plans to attract crypto investors to give a boost to the tourism industry. The goal is to get back around $80 billion lost in tourism revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is working with the country’s regulators to make it convenient for tourists to spend cryptocurrencies in the country, Bloomberg reported Saturday, quoting TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
"Crypto is the future, so we must make Thailand a crypto-positive society to welcome this group of quality tourists," Supasorn said.
He further revealed that the plan is already in discussion with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Bank of Thailand (BOT), and the largest crypto exchange in the country, Bitkub Online Co.
In the next year, the authority plans to set up a new unit to handle the issuance of its own crypto tokens, produce a wallet, and build a new tourism ecosystem, he added. Thailand does not recognize Bitcoin and Ether as legal tenders as of now.
The governor suggested that Thailand could recover about 80% of its pre-Covid tourism revenue in 2023 "by getting someone like Russell Crowe or a crypto holder like Tim Cook to travel here.”
Investing in crypto has benefited a lot of people, so companies have started accepting payments in digital assets. This could be a boost for the tourism industry in Thailand as well. The expectation is that Thailand’s tourism industry will return to pre-Covid levels by 2024, the governor said.