Thailand tourism industry works to attract crypto millionaires

Thailand tourism industry works to attract crypto millionaires

To revive their tourism industry, Thailand is targeting an unusual niche of tourists: the crypto rich.

Working alongside regulators and local cryptocurrency exchange, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will attempt to make spending cryptocurrencies easier to spend, Bloomberg reported.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Bloomberg they wanted to allow people who had “become wealthy from holding digital currencies” to be able to spend that wealth in Thailand.

“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,” he said.

Supasorn said they hoped a new framework would be in place for when global travel returned to normal.

TAT is currently discussing plans with Bitkub Online Co., the largest crypto exchange in the country, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT).

In 2022 the tourism authority will also establish a unit to issue its own crypto tokens and wallet as part of a new tourism ecosystem, Supasorn added.

Currently, Thailand does not acknowledge cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ether as legal tender.

This approach will look to regain some of the billions of dollars of tourist revenue lost after Covid-19 forced them to close borders for more than a year.

In 2019, Thailand attracted almost 40 million travellers and $60 billion (NZ$88 billion).

Supasorn suggested they could recoup 80 per cent of that revenue in 2023 with just 20 million tourists “by getting someone like Russell Crowe or a crypto holder like Tim Cook to travel here.”

The TAT governor added: “Crypto is the future, so we must make Thailand a crypto-positive society to welcome this group of quality tourists.”

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