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22 Dec, 2023

Thailand’s telegenic, fashionable, peace-promoting tourism Brand Ambassador

Bangkok – I am often challenged to prove my characterisation of Thailand as “The Greatest Story in Global Tourism HiSTORY.” Having covered this chaotic yet magnificent country’s high-flying tourism industry since 1981, I have seen and experienced its unique selling propositions across multiple sectors.

Today, I can claim that Thailand has the world’s most telegenic, fashionable, culturally-sensitive, peace-promoting Brand Ambassador.

Since taking over as Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Sept 2023, Mrs Thapanee Kiatphaibool (would you believe she turned 50 this December?) has proved to be no ordinary CEO, but a real role model for women leaders, especially in Travel & Tourism.

Her job requires extensive travel within Thailand and abroad.

Wherever she goes and whatever the occasion, she makes a fashion statement that is totally in sync with both.

Her dress code is a work of art, carefully designed to assimilate with the host culture, an Alliance of Civilisations at its best. It is a mirror of Thailand’s Soft Power, a true embodiment of femininity.

The 25-year veteran of the TAT could very well stick to the age-old script and assert her “Thainess” via the traditional display of Thai fashion. Instead, she creates a “New Normal” by endearing herself to her hosts — a unique way of selling a country that takes great pride in historically being open for business with everyone while cleverly keeping colonial powers at bay.

In the images below, check out the expressions on the faces of her hosts.

They’ve clearly never seen anything like it.

Finally, as the front-line “face” of Thailand’s “industry of peace,” she makes a statement of peace.

The mother of a young-adult daughter, she realises well the importance of sustainability across all sectors of society, community and humanity.

The only economic and business sector that can deliver all 17 SDGs, Travel & Tourism is all about respect, friendship, hospitality and PEACE.

Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool reflects those values in every public appearance.

If every Thai female executive in Travel & Tourism would follow suit at international trade shows, the brand-value impact would be priceless.

A shining example for global women leaders to follow.

She is one of many reasons I am proud to call Thailand “The Greatest Story in Global Tourism HiSTORY”.

I will always stand by that statement.