Tourism Authority Thailand renews promotion deal with Expedia

With the travel market becoming ever more competitive, the Tourism Authority of Thailand renewed its agreement last week with Expedia, the U.S.-based global travel booking website, to promote the Kingdom to premium visitors and expand the variety of local destinations on offer.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) officials and Expedia representatives signed the memorandum of understanding on the same day that MasterCard announced that it had ranked Thailand first in the world for the number of overnight international visitors in its Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index for the fourth straight year.

Thailand was the only country with three cities in the global top 20 for international overnight visitors: Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya. And two cities made the global top 10 for spending by international overnight visitors: Bangkok and Phuket. The index ranks 200 cities based on MasterCard’s data on spending.

Digital bookings for Thai destinations have increased markedly in recent years, and so reliance on Expedia and other travel booking websites has grown in importance.

“We have to work on the supply side with global players such as Expedia to adjust the traffic flow of tourism,” said Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT’s Deputy Governor of Marketing for Asia and South Pacific.

Thailand’s most popular destinations are jammed in prime tourist seasons, and so the agreement with Expedia calls for the website to promote the Kingdom’s secondary tourist areas.

Jean-Philippe Monod, Vice-President of Government and Corporate Affairs of Expedia Group, said the goal is to introduce people to new areas of Thailand to avoid congestion at particular destinations.

Among the alternative provinces that have already benefited from the collaboration are Chiang Rai, Satun, Mae Hong Son, and Trat.

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