History

Tourism Authority of Thailand

The Royal Thai Government established the Tourist Organisation on 18 March, 1960, to promote and market Thailand as a tourist destination to both international and local travellers. In 1963, it was renamed the Tourist Organisation of Thailand (TOT), with Thailand’s first international tourist office opening in New York in 1965 and the first domestic office opening in Chiang Mai in 1968.

As Thailand’s tourism continued to grow and increasingly played pivotal role as one of the country’s top revenue earners, the government saw the need to place greater emphasis on promoting and marketing the kingdom as a tourist destination among international travellers. In 1979, the government passed a bill that brought the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) into existence.

Now in its 57th year with headquarters in Bangkok, 38 offices in Thailand and 27 offices overseas, TAT has helped Thailand become a preferred destination among international travellers. The number of visitor arrivals grew from 81,000 tourists in 1960 to 32.6 million in 2016

Milestones in Thailand’s tourism

Visit Thailand Year 1980: Thailand launched its first ever tourism campaign in 1980 and successfully welcomed two million visitors.

Visit Thailand Year 1987: This campaign was re-launched in 1987 to mark the 60th birthday of King Bhumibhol Adulyadej. The year saw 3.4 million visitor arrivals. 

Amazing Thailand 1998-1999: The campaign marked the 72nd birthday of King Bhumibhol Adulyadej, and helped Thailand’s recovery efforts after the 1997 Asian Crisis. Thailand welcomed 7.76 million arrivals in 1998 and 8.58 million visitors in 1999.

Unseen Thailand 2003: The tourism industry faced many challenges in 2003, and the TAT in cooperation with the public and private sector through the launch of this Unseen Thailand campaign managed to maintain the number of visitor arrivals at above 10 million.

Thailand Grand Invitation 2006: Millions of people came to see spectacular royal events as Thailand commemorated the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibhol Adulyadej’s accession to the throne in 2006. The kingdom welcomed 13.8 million visitors.

Thailand Talk to the World 2007: Thailand celebrated the 80th birthday of King Bhumibhol Adulyadej, and the TAT launched a ‘Thailand Talk to the World’ TV commercial to encourage travellers to visit Thailand. The year saw 14.46 million arrivals.

TAT’s 50th Anniversary in 2010: Thailand’s tourism industry celebrated the Golden Jubilee as both the TAT and Thai Airways International turned 50. The TAT also launched a ‘Remember’ TV commercial and a new ‘Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You’ marketing promotion tagline.

Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You 2012: This campaign promoted travel as Thailand celebrated the 85th birthday of King Bhumibhol Adulyadej. The kingdom welcomed 22.35 million arrivals.

Amazing Thailand It Begins with the People 2013-2014: By emphasising the hospitality of the people and implementing measures aimed at improving the travel experience, Thailand welcomed 26.74 million visitor arrivals in 2013 and 24.77 million in 2014.

Discover Thainess 2015: The spirit of Thainess, the kingdom’s culture, wisdoms festivals and fun showed the world the unique attractions of Thailand. The year saw 29.88 million arrivals.

Quality Leisure Destination through Thainess 2017: Thainess continued to attract higher quality tourists seeking more luxury experiences. Thailand welcomed 32.6 million visitors.

Unique Thai Local Experiences 2017: This year, TAT continues to focus on enhancing the image of Thailand as a Quality Leisure Destination with an emphasis on promoting “Creative Tourism” through Thai culture, experiences and way of life in order to create valuable and memorable experiences for quality tourists.