Thailand unveils native token to lure crypto-lovers in an aim to boost its tourism industry

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  • Thailand is planning to roll out the crypto token TAT Coin as part of its “crypto tourism” campaign.
  • The token will attract crypto users to invest and tour the country, raising the nation’s tourism revenue and GDP.

Thailand, through the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), is planning to issue a crypto token named TAT Coin, to be part of its tourism industry. The “crypto tourism” initiative aims to attract deep-pocketed crypto investors to the industry and possibly raise the nation’s GDP.

The idea to issue TAT Coin, as the Bangkok Post reports, was conceived by Jirayut Srupsrisopa, the creator and CEO of Thailand-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub. Srupsrisopa has been aggressive in promoting the idea to the government. He is convinced that crypto holders could revolutionize Thailand’s economy if encouraged to establish themselves in the country.

Additionally, he notes that investors have largely benefitted from cryptocurrencies and are looking for profitable exploits to place their proceeds. This is exactly what Thailand is preparing to offer alongside the convenience of using digital currencies without cumbersome conversions. The move would also eliminate some government taxes, a further incentive to get in on the TAT Coin.

Thailand: Cryptocurrency meets tourism

It is worth noting that before the pandemic, Thailand’s tourism sector accounted for about 20 percent of the country’s GDP. About 40 million international tourists visited the country in 2019, bringing $60 billion in revenue. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, the government was forced to shut down its borders to tourists. Thai tourism ministry reports it lost $80 billion in income, an amount it is now hoping to regain. Thailand has opened up to tourists again, but only those with evidence of COVID vaccination.

According to Srupsrisopa, the nation’s tourism authority is developing a framework for expanding crypto adoption. The organization’s governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, says the concept has already been discussed by several authorities. Among them are the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bitkub Online Co, and the Bank of Thailand (BOT). It will likely have been finalized by the time world travel resumes to the pre-pandemic rate.

On top of that, officials plan to have a dedicated crypto unit by next year. The team will be tasked with managing Thai cryptocurrencies, developing a digital wallet, and creating a new environment for tourists. Governor Yuthasak predicts that the country will have recuperated to its pre-COVID state by 2024. The first step toward this is attracting 1 million high-spending tourists in Q1, 2022. Authorities expect that 10 percent of digital currency holders will visit Thailand at some point.

Other industries are also leveraging crypto use including the food industry, and commercial online sites.

Moving with caution

But even with this crypto-friendly campaign, Thailand has shown itself a country with certain strictness for the crypto industry. The nation’s SEC banned meme coins, fan tokens, and NFTs from crypto exchanges – claiming these assets lack substantial backing and objectives. The commission also filed criminal complaints against Binance for operating without a license.

Read More: Thailand bans Meme coins, fan tokens and NFTs from crypto exchanges