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New TAT Governor takes office, thanks visitors for their confidence

Mr. Thawatchai will replace Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, who has completed his four-year term.

BANGKOK – Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) executive Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, who became the new TAT Governor on 22 December, has issued a broad statement of thanks to all visitors who are presently in Thailand, and all those who are sticking to their travel plans in spite of the present state of political flux.

“I am happy to be taking the helm of TAT at a very important stage of the country’s history,” said Mr. Thawatchai. “I am confident the tourism industry will ride this through. Above all, I would like to thank all the visitors who have retained their confidence in the kingdom and maintained their travel plans. I hope their presence will encourage others to follow suit.”

Mr. Thawatchai will replace Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, who has completed his four-year term. Born in Phetchaburi province in 1955, Mr. Thawatchai is the 9th Governor of TAT. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of the East, Manila, Philippines, he joined TAT in 1983 and has since held a number of positions both in Thailand and abroad, as follows:

Director of the TAT Central Region Office Region 2 (1995 – 2000)
Director of the TAT London Office (2000 – 2003)
Executive Director of the Central Region (2006 – 2007)
Executive Director of Europe Africa and Middle East (2007- 2010)
Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing (2010 – 2013)

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Thawatchai thanked the TAT Board of Directors for entrusting him with the responsibility. He said he looked forward to working with all industry partners, both in the public and private sectors, in Thailand and abroad, to maintain the momentum and help travel and tourism meet its targets.

“Tourism is now well established as a leading driver of jobs, economic growth, income distribution and sustainability,” Mr. Thawatchai said. “All my predecessors and the entire staff of TAT have worked tirelessly over the years to build a strong foundation. My job is to build on that and implement the strategies and projects already clearly outlined in the Marketing Action Plan.”

TAT is anticipating visitor arrivals of 26.1 million in 2013, and projecting 28.01 million in 2014. Revenue projections are for 1.1 trillion Baht in 2013 and 1.326 trillion Baht in 2014.

He said he would work on further strengthening alliances with industry partners, boosting cost-effective communications via social media and ensuring that the industry never loses sight of the need for environmental sustainability.

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