Thapanee Kiatphaiboon has taken on the role of governor at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
She has been with the TAT since 1999, and has held various positions within the organisation, including deputy governor for tourism products and business, and most recently deputy governor for domestic marketing.
In her most recent role as TAT deputy governor for domestic marketing, Thapanee initiated various tourism initiatives that drove Thailand’s economy. They included workation in Thailand, faith and religious tourism routes, and solo travels – all of which helped to stimulate 151.45 million domestic trips in 2022 – about 88 per cent of the record year in 2019 – and generated 641.5 billion baht (US$18.1 billion).
In her role as deputy governor for tourism products and business, she initiated the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration certification programme that enabled hotels and services to meet specific health and safety standards during the pandemic; the Special Tourist Visa scheme to promote the reopening of Thailand, which led to subsequent entry schemes, including Villa Quarantine, Yacht Quarantine and Golf Quarantine; and the Phuket Sandbox, which has been recognised internationally as the model for a country’s post-lockdown reopening.
Thapanee is also a savvy social media and technology strategist, and has played a key role in utilising technology and social media to promote and develop Thailand’s tourism. Some of her outstanding achievements included the Google Street View project in cooperation with Google Thailand, and the Amazing Thailand social media platforms.
She was also instrumental in the development of various special interest tourism products, including health and wellness tourism, yacht and cruise tourism, and community tourism, as well as the King’s Wisdom for Sustainable Tourism project, which won the PATA Grand Awards 2018 in the category of Education and Training.