Lunch with the Tourism Authority of Thailand

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Tourism Authority of Thailand's Srisuda Wanapinyosak and Bangornrat Shinaprayoon

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) held a lunch at the new Pranna restaurant here in New York this afternoon as it bid farewell to outgoing director Bangornrat Shinaprayoon and welcomed Srisuda Wanapinyosak as its new director for the next four years. Bangornrat Shinaprayoon will return to Bangkok after her four-year stint here to continue her work in the tourism sector.

During the lunch, we were shown a video that highlighted many of Thailand's cultural and scenic attractions. In 2008, there were 14.3 million visitor arrivals to Thailand; the TAT acknowledged that they expect that number to remain flat for 2009, but on a promising note, it projects 2 million visitors for medical services this year, a growing niche for the destination.

Srisuda Wanapinyosak will now lead the Authority's efforts in promoting Thailand to U.S. travelers. "We're looking forward to a very successful year in 2009," she said, "in which Americans will return with renewed confidence to Thailand to explore all it has to offer."

Along those lines, the TAT's initiatives are going to focus on three areas:

• "Amazing Thailand, Amazing Value": Promoting Thailand as a destination of great cultural assets, as well as strong value against the U.S. dollar.

• "7 Wonders of Thailand": Ongoing tourism initiative focusing on the concept of "Thainess," with an emphasis on experiential travel.

• New Hotels: The TAT will be heavily promoting Thailand's newest properties, among them the Banyan Tree Koh Samui, the Shangri-La Phuket, the Jumeirah Phuket Private Island and the Anantara Phang Na.


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