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Thailand tourism officials want to attract Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency holders

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Stock photo by André François McKenzie for UnSplash

Got Bitcoin? You may soon be able to spend it in Thailand. The country’s tourism officials want to draw in cryptocurrency holders and plan to first target tourists from Japan, the one of the world’s top holders of Bitcoin.

The idea is to draw in more high spending tourists, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn. With the lack of foreign tourists due to the coronavirus pandemic, tourism officials have been discussing numerous ways to draw in visitors and boost the economy. They’ve been focusing on wealthy tourists, even launching “villa quarantine” and “golf quarantine” to help entice high spenders to visit Thailand.

“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… Even Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and a crypto influencer, might be interested in visiting Thailand.”

TAT discussed the idea of attracting cryptocurrency holders with the Thailand and Japan Technology Promotion Association and has now started a feasibility study on using the cryptocurrency at tourism destinations.

Tourism officials still need to discuss the idea with the Bank of Thailand and measures need to be in place to prevent money laundering, Yuthasak says. TAT also plans to talk with businesses in the tourism industry to prepare for the potential use of cryptocurrency.

TAT set a goal of 8 million tourists to enter Thailand this year… much lower than the 40 million arrivals before the pandemic. They expect total tourism receipts to be around 428 billion baht with each visitor spending an average of 53,000 baht during their trip. The National Economic and Social Development Council say they only expect 3.2 million foreign arrivals this year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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