Prague, 21 September, 2016 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has opened a new office in Prague to tap the growing potential of the rapidly emerging markets in the Czech Republic and its neighbouring countries.
The office in the capital of the Czech Republic was opened jointly by Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the Board of TAT, and Mr. Narong Sasitorn, Thai Ambassador to the Czech Republic. It is the 8th TAT office in Europe and the 27th TAT office abroad.
To be headed by Mrs. Wiyada Srirangkul, the office will be responsible for promoting tourism from the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.
Mr. Kalin Sarasin, TAT Chairman, said, “Today, the Czech Republic has become a gateway to Central Europe, a market of 135 million potential tourists, most of whom are just beginning to travel beyond Europe. We are sure they will find it very interesting to make Thailand their first stop in Asia.”
He added, “We have long maintained a prominent presence in the traditional European markets of Germany, the UK, France, Italy and others. Expanding our profile in Central Europe via a full-fledged office is a logical extension.”
In his comments, Ambassador Narong said, “I am personally extremely glad that TAT chose Prague as the location because it will certainly boost the Thai presence in this historic city and help us advance the cause of promoting bilateral relations across all fronts. The opening of the TAT office here will plant a small seed from which we can grow an entire tree of opportunities in many different areas of commercial and cultural relations.”
At the opening ceremony, Mr. Yuthasak said, “Europe has long been one of our most important source markets. Indeed, we can say that tourism from Germany, the UK, France, and so on has comprised the bedrock of our industry in its early days. The average length of stay is about 16 days per person, which is nearly twice the overall length of stay of international travellers.
“As part of a new focus on “quality” visitors, we are targeting long-staying, high-spending visitors, especially from “new markets”. That is what makes the Prague office so important to our new strategy.”
These countries are already generating good numbers. Between 2012 to 2015, visitors from Central Europe grew from about 203,540 to 342,900, at an annual average growth rate of 12.85 percent. The Czech Republic rose from 35,909 in 2014 to almost 38,998 in 2015, an increase of 8.6 percent.
“In 2016, we are projecting 379,000 visitors from this region overall. Our key target markets will be first-time visitors,” Mr. Yuthasak said.
From left: Mrs. Wiyada Srirangkul, Director of TAT Prague Office; Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor; Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the Board of TAT; Mr. Narong Sasitorn, Thai Ambassador to the Czech Republic; Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, TAT’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas; Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Executive Director for Europe, Africa and Middle East Region at the ceremony to open the TAT Prague Office, the Czech RepublicFrom left: Mr. Marek Libricky Director of Department of Asia and Pacific, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor; Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the Board of TAT; Mr. Oldrich Lomechy, Mayor of Prague 1; Mrs. Renata Kralova, Director Tourism Department; Mrs. Kanthong Unakul, Thai Ambassador to Hungary; Mrs. Wiyada Srirangkul, Director of TAT Prague Office; Mr. Narong Sasitorn, Thai Ambassador to the Czech Republic