In 1960, the Thai Government established the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to promote tourism in the country. The main objectives of TAT is to provide reliable information about tourism and traveling in Thailand for both the public and the media. Hence, TAT’s purpose is to fuel tourism marketing and promotions for Thailand towards the goal of generating significant revenue from tourism for the government (TAT News, 2013). Although TAT is part of the government, it works with travel partners in the private sector – businesses and companies that offer traveling products and services (Tourism Authority of Thailand: Los Angeles, 2015). To draw the interest of foreign tourists to Thailand, TAT began establishing offices abroad in 1965. TAT’s first office was in New York. At present time, TAT has 21 offices in different cities and countries (Tourism Authority of Thailand: Los Angeles, 2015).
TAT is headed by the Minister of Tourism and Sports. The Minister is assisted by an advisor and a governor. The governor works with subordinates including the deputy governors and directors (Tourism Authority of Thailand: Los Angeles, 2015). Based on the profile of the former Minister of Tourism and Sports, the executives at TAT are selected based on their political affiliation or affluence. Hence, experience in tourism is unnecessary since most of the officials of TAT held political positions in the past or are influential in Thai politics and business (Khon Kaen, 2014). In 2013, TAT has 900 employees with 35 regional offices throughout Thailand (Khon Kaen, 2013).
As formerly noted, TAT is the Thai government’s tourism arm, which means that it is part of the public sector. For this reason, TAT gains funding from the government. TAT’s average annual budget based on data obtained in 2011 amount to 7 billion baht. In 2014, TAT requested for 200 million baht in additional budget from the government to spur tourism in the country following the state of emergency that led to the decline of tourism in the country (Thai PBS, 2014). Taking advantage of TAT’s resources, the organization is involved in various conventions not only to promote the organization’s efforts and initiatives but also to work with other local and foreign agencies to promote tourism in Thailand. In recent years, TAT has been actively involved in ASEAN conventions (TAT News, 2014).
Marketing and promotions focus on highlighting Thailand as a friendly country for foreign visitors and the capacity of the country to accommodate people from different countries. TAT aims to promote Thailand as a country where people from other parts of the world may discover new places and experiences (TAT, n.d.). TAT’s tag line for Thailand is “Amazing Thailand” due to the country’s diverse offerings of experiences for travelers around the world. I suppose TAT’s theme for marketing is appropriate considering that there are many different and exotic experiences for tourists in the country. In recent years, TAT has taken advantage of digital marketing, particularly through social media to market and promote Thailand internationally. TAT has social media website and is actively posting news and content about tourism and traveling in Thailand (TAT News, 2013).
Thailand’s main source markets for tourism include China and Malaysia. Nonetheless, other countries that bring millions of arrivals to Thailand include India, Japan, Russia and South Korea. Furthermore, majority of Thailand’s visitors come from East Asia, followed by Europe, North and South America, and South Asia (TAT News, 2013). Some marketing and promotions photos at TAT News show people from different nationalities touring Thailand.
TAT’s online website has various features including booking. Local and foreign customers may visit TAT’s website to look for places to go in Thailand, restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels or other forms of accommodations. People may use the search feature of TAT’s website to look for hotels and book their accommodations directly. One of the advantages of using TAT’s website is that the site links to its travel partners and offers customers options for their stay. TAT’s online website is user friendly and accommodates people from different countries. People can choose the language for the site as it is available in different languages aside from international English. TAT’s website is available in 44 different languages.
Japan National Tourism Organization. (n.d.). Official Guide. Retrieved from: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/
Khon Kaen. (2013). Tourism Authority of Thailand Grossly Over-Staffed. Retrieved from: http://www.khonkaen.ws/tourism-authority-of-thailand-grossly-over-staffed
Khon Kaen. (2014). Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul. Retrieved from: http://www.khonkaen.ws/minister-of-tourism-and-sports-kobkarn-wattanavrangkul
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TAT. (n.d.). TAT History. Retrieved from: http://www.tourismthailand.org/About-TAT
TAT. (2015). Thailand. Retrieved from: http://na.tourismthailand.org/home
TAT News. (2013). Thailand’s Tourism Sector – The Future. Retrieved from: http://www.tatnews.org/thailands-tourism-sector-the-future/
TAT News. (2014). Thailand at the ATF 2014: TAT projects strong growth in ASEAN arrivals. Retrieved from: http://www.tatnews.org/thailand-at-the-atf-2014-tat-projects-strong-growth-in-asean-arrivals/
Thai PBS. (2014). TAT to seek emergency fund to stimulate tourism. Retrieved from: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/tat-seek-emergency-fund-stimulate-tourism
Tourism Authority of Thailand: Los Angeles (2015). About Us. Retrieved from: http://www.tat-la.com/about-tat/