The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is set to target cryptocurrency holders in a bid to revive the country’s tourism sector, which was heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Bangkok Post, the plan will target Japanese tourists initially, as these are considered to be the top holders of bitcoin. The news outlet quotes data from Dalia Research from 2018, which showed 11% of Japanese owned crypto assets, while the global average was 7%.
The cryptocurrency space has been growing over the last few years, with the price of bitcoin recently jumping from around $11,000 in October of last year to a new all-time high above $58,000 this month, before its price corrected.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the TAT, was quoted as saying: “If we can prepare the country for the cryptocurrency market, it will help attract more opportunities from high-spending tourists, especially the young and wealthy generations.”
The TAT is reportedly studying the feasibility of adding cryptocurrencies as a payment option at tourism destinations, with plans to discuss with the country’s central bank, the Bank of Thailand, and with tourism operators, new practices for the tourism revival plan.
Supasorn pointed out that the use of cryptocurrency in the country will, however, have to comply with central bank measures designed to curb money laundering. Per his words, the tourism could see Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, be interested in visiting the country.
The TAT has cut its foreign arrivals goal for this year to 8 million visitors from 10 million. The organization will launch a campaign after April to attract tourists over the third quarter of the year.