The Tourism Authority of Thailand has announced that cryptocurrency holders are its next focus. As it looks to get the country’s essential tourism industry on a path towards full recovery, Thai officials are hoping that getting in on the ground floor with cryptocurrency spenders will help push them towards that.
The initial focus will be on Japanese tourists. This is for two reasons. Japan comprises the sixth-highest base of visitors to the country, and Japanese people are amongst the world’s leaders in percentage of individuals who own cryptocurrency. Specifically, in 2018, Japan set the world’s pace with 11% of its citizens owning digital funds.
Meanwhile, many Japanese establishments, such as hotels and restaurants, have reported significant growth since adopting the means necessary to accept cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services.
Another reason for this push is because cryptocurrency holders have been shown to spend more. “(This focus) will help attract more opportunities from high-spending tourists, especially the younger and wealthy generations,” Yuthasak Supasorn, the tourism organization’s governor, said.
Although that initial push will be on attracting those holding these electronic funds from Japan, the long-term plan is to ultimately make this a worldwide focus. “Even Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and a crypto influence, might be interested in visiting Thailand,” Yuthasak said.
One of the steps that the tourism board is taking to help this vision become a reality is implementing simplified ways to pay for travel-related expenses with cryptocurrency. Hotels will be a focus while the country will also be careful to ensure that all related Bank of Thailand regulations are implemented and that cryptocurrency-related money laundering attempts are thwarted.
The value of a bitcoin has surged over the past couple of months.
As of Monday, one is worth $54,000, slightly down from a peak of $57,000 on Saturday but significantly more than its worth of $29,000 at the start of the year. The belief from many experts is that those who have recently bought this cryptocurrency want to secure some protection against what they believe will be repercussions of significant government spending.
However, it should be noted that entrance requirements into Thailand remain strict.
All tourists will need to quarantine for a 14-day period after arriving, and all visitors must register and apply for Thailand’s Certificate for Entry, which will take about a week. In addition, travelers will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result from one that had been administrated within 72 hours of traveling to Thailand.
However, the county did extend its permitted period of stay for many visa-exempt travelers. Those who had been limited to 30-days stays, which included visitors from the United States, can now visit for up to 45 days.