Some emerging countries are exploring the hypothesis of issuing a central bank digital currency (MNBC), while others are more interested in creating utility tokens. This is the case of Thailand, which is seriously studying the possibility of reviving the tourism sector thanks to cryptocurrencies.
A utility token dedicated to tourism in Thailand?
According to an article published on November 24 by the Bangkok Post, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would be operational regarding the launch of the utility token dedicated to tourism. Indeed, for a few months the TAT has been studying the project of a utility token, called “TAT Coin” as part of a promotion of crypto-tourism.
This initiative aims to attract crypto-investors in order to increase Thailand’s GDP. The founder and CEO of Thailand’s leading exchange Bitkub, Jirayut Srupsrisopa said that Thailand’s GDP in 2020 is about $500 billion, while the crypto-currency market generates more than $3 trillion.
According to him, these investors must be considered as potential customers for Thai tourism which must therefore adapt to these new digital nomads. As soon as they are digitally savvy, it would be appropriate for Thailand to facilitate transactions in cryptos. This would allow to redirect part of their earnings to the Thai tourism actors. Jirayut further stated that his exchange is ready to embark on this crypto-tourism project:
“Private sectors are ready to provide digital infrastructure, but we are just waiting for the government to push the button by enacting laws, regulations or even policies to facilitate digital asset markets. Our national GDP could increase sixfold if we can strengthen this market.”
The TAT governor said that the authority will start discussions with Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission, to explore the possibility of launching the so-called TAT Coin.
Cryptocurrencies to boost tourism
The spread of the Coronavirus contributed to the collapse of international tourism, starting with the closure of the borders in early 2020. Thus, since the gradual reopening of the borders, tourism stakeholders are looking for ways to accelerate the revival of their industry. This is good news! Several of these actors have realized the opportunity offered by cryptocurrencies in this sense.
This is, for example, the case of the theme park PortAventura World, which has announced that cryptos will be accepted as a means of payment by 2022. It is also the case of some airlines that offer to exchange the miles earned by regular travelers with cryptos. These can then be exchanged for free flights. In fact, some airlines, like airBaltic, have gone so far as to accept cryptos for the purchase of airline tickets.
Online hotel booking giant Booking also took action earlier this year through a partnership with Crypto.com. Users of this application can benefit from a 25% discount on reservations made on Booking.com.
Finally, Dubai is also getting into crypto-tourism. Since April 2018, the government has embarked on “Tourism 2.0” by opening a blockchain-based tourism marketplace. This brings together users and tourist or hotel services.