After failing to attract any meaningful number of cash-paying visitors, in part also to complicated initial visa requirements and lengthy quarantines which remain in place to this day, Thailand is shifting focus.
While future plans to remove quarantine for vaccinated travellers are reviewed, Thailand is giving up on cash and credit card paying tourists and is desperately trying to attract cryptocurrency fans, specifically those from Japan for the present and future of tourism.
After a partnership with Tinder last month, this is not even the strangest travel pivot the one-of-a-kind country has aimed for, but it could be one of the best.
Thailand is now working with local businesses and tourism providers to enable crypto payments across more and more touchpoints. The Bangkok Post reports Thailand is actively engaged in promotions to lure in wealthy cryptocurrency holders, such as those with large bitcoin supplies.
The news comes fresh on the heels of bitcoin being responsible for 20% of sales for a leading private jet membership. Quoted in the Bangkok Post, Tourism Authority Of Thailand Governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, stated:
“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,”
So, what can Thailand do? For a start, get local hotels to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Large scale businesses have resisted the trend to accept crypto, but as potential clients holding crypto continues to grow, and demographic data shows that they tend to spend more than the general public, it is getting harder to ignore.
Thailand even specifically mentioned trying to lure Elon Musk, the Tesla founder and early adopter of cryptocurrency. For now, though, measures are aimed at attracting regional travel from Japan, which is ahead of the global curve in the new currency.
It’s a fascinating future for travel as new forms of payment become valid, and one day the checkout experience may look nothing like the present. If Thailand can successfully create the best destination experience for crypto fans, which could even include Thai Airways accepting payment via bitcoin, this wild idea may prove Thailand’s best.
Written By Joe Cusmano