This Country Seeks Newly-Minted Crypto Billionaires To Come Holiday Here

Thailand is targeting newly-minted crypto millionaires to breathe life into its pandemic-battered tourism industry.

This Country Seeks Newly-Minted Crypto Billionaires To Come Holiday Here

Thailand drew almost 40 million foreign travelers in 2019.

New Delhi: Thailand is targeting newly-minted crypto millionaires to breathe life into its pandemic-battered tourism industry.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working with the nation's regulators and a local cryptocurrency exchange to pave the way for the acceptance of digital tokens for travel, according to its Governor Yuthasak Supasorn. That may help the tourism-reliant nation to recoup some of the $80 billion in lost revenue through the pandemic, he said.

“There are people who have become wealthy from holding digital currencies and they may want to use the wealth they have accrued,” Yuthasak said in an interview on Thursday. “If they can use their currencies here without having to exchange it, or be faced with government taxes, then it would create convenience for them.”

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Thailand, popular among holidaymakers for its tropical islands dotted with pristine beaches and a vibrant nightlife, drew almost 40 million foreign travelers in 2019, who generated more than $60 billion in revenue. But the pandemic saw the country shut down its borders for more than a year before reopening to vaccinated travelers from last month. 

“If Thailand is looking to recover about 80% of its pre-pandemic tourism revenue in 2023 but with half the number of foreign tourist arrivals we saw in 2019, we can achieve that by getting someone like Russell Crowe or a crypto holder like Tim Cook to travel here,” Yuthasak said.

While Thailand has allowed quarantine-free entry to travelers from more than 60 countries, tourism is likely to return to pre-Covid levels only by 2024, Yuthasak said. The nation is targeting about 1 million high-spending tourists in the first quarter of next year, he said, adding the authority was betting on 10% of crypto-holders to travel to Thailand eventually.

“Crypto is the future, so we must make Thailand a crypto-positive society to welcome this group of quality tourists,” Yuthasak said.

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