A push in Thailand to boost gross domestic product (GPD) by targeting crypto digital nomads is coming closer to fruition, according to local media.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been looking into launching its own utility token called TAT Coin since September as part of a planned “crypto tourism” campaign. The initiative aims to attract crypto wealthy digital nomads and the TAT has been in discussions with the Stock Exchange of Thailand regarding TAT Coin’s issuance.
According to a Wednesday report from the Bangkok Post, the infrastructure behind the TAT Coin is “ready” to go and is now awaiting the green light from the Thai government.
Speaking at the "Transform tourism with cryptourism" conference on Tuesday, Jirayut Srupsrisopa, the founder and CEO of local crypto exchange Bitkub, urged policymakers to approve the rollout of TAT Coin:
"Private sectors are ready to provide digital infrastructure, but we're just waiting for the government to press the button by enacting laws, regulations or even policies to help facilitate digital asset markets.”
“Our national GDP could grow six times if we can strengthen this market," he added.
According to the Bangkok Post, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn explained that the cryptourism campaign consists of “building a new tourism ecosystem which utilizes digital technologies to allow wealthy populations, including cryptocurrency holders, to channel their money directly to tourism operators without agents or brokers.”
Related: Mastercard launches crypto-linked cards across Asia-Pacific
Supasorn said the move would greatly help the recovery of local businesses recov that have been impacted by the lack of tourism capital flowing into the country due to the global pandemic. Al Jazeera reported this week that Thailand saw a total of 106,117 tourists in the first 10 months of 2021, which is a tiny fraction of the 40 million yearly average pre-pandemic.
Despite the private sector appearing ready to support this campaign, Supasorn warned that there is still a lot of work to do within the government to prepare for the rollout of such an ambitious digital currency-focused initiative.
"Due to the TAT's status as a state enterprise, there are a lot of regulatory issues we need to discuss with related parties before implementation. And there are also other preventive measures against cybercrimes and customer protections we need to prepare," he said.