The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced the appointment of Thapanee Kiatphaibool as its new governor, effective from 1 September. The 48 year old, who currently serves as the deputy governor for domestic marketing, was chosen by the TAT board, following a recruitment process that began on February 20.

Out of the two finalists, the nomination subcommittee, chaired by Arrun Boonchai, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, unanimously selected Thapanee. The recruitment criteria included five key points, with the ability to manage the organisation, knowledge of the tourism industry, and marketing expertise being crucial factors.

The remuneration subcommittee will now negotiate Thapanee’s salary, and a contract will be signed for a four-year term. There is an option to extend the contract for up to four more years if her performance proves exceptional.

Thapanee Kiatphaibool approved as new TAT Governor

Thapanee expressed her gratitude for being chosen as governor and assured tourism operators that she would continue the tourism promotion policies set by her predecessor, Yuthasak Supasorn, to ensure a smooth transition. Once officially appointed, she plans to announce her working direction and collaborate with the private sector to develop tourism promotional strategies.

Having joined the TAT in 1999 after earning a master’s degree in science from the University of Surrey in the UK, Thapanee has held various positions within the organisation, including deputy governor for tourism products and business.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, she initiated the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA), certification programme that enabled hotels and services to meet specific health and safety standards. The SHA certification became a mandatory requirement for hotels seeking to register as quarantine facilities during the period of stringent Covid controls, reported Bangkok Post.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) anticipates that by the end of this month, Thailand will have welcomed 10 million foreign tourists, with at least two million visitors per month expected during the low season.

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