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Thailand forum

TAT - what is the deal

Posted by somtam2000 on 12/4/2006 at 07:46 admin

A recent post brought up usage of the TAT acronym -- what it really stands for is Tourist Authority of Thailand. The real TAT only furnish travel information -- they do not offer any type of booking or reservation service.

In Bangkok and elsewhere you'll come across travel agents who call themselves TAT -- they get away with it by arguing their TAT acronym stands for something -- eg Touts and Twits -- these business are shysters selling overpriced tours to unsuspecting tourists who think they're at an official TAT office. If you want to visit the TAT, go to their main office and steer well clear of the shysters.

The Official TAT website

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by Captain_Bob on 27/5/2006 at 18:07

Sorry but I have to disagree with some of the above. The Tourism Authority of Thailand trains and licenses people to be tour guides. Licensed tour guides who work in a travel agency can use the TAT acronym to signify their TAT-licensed status. Still I agree the logo is sometimes exploited illegitimately. However a lot of tourists go straight to the TAT office and actually book trips, etc. and then if things go wrong they complain to a travel agent - who has absolutely no accountability to the TAT. People should not book trips with TAT office directly - it takes business away from the very travel agents that TAT have licensed and therefore deprives them of their income. Not all travel agents are "shysters".

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,903

Posted by somtam2000 on 27/5/2006 at 21:14 admin

Hi Captain_Bob,

Welcome to Travelfish!

Yes I agree not all agents are shysters -- the vast majority are fine.

However, I think we're talking about different things here -- I'm not talking about the TAT logo which licensed agents display (to indicate they're licensed), but rather agencies that prominantly display a sign reading solely "TAT", which could mislead tourists into thinking the agent is The TAT, rather than just an agent.

Anyway, I'll take some pics of the type of places I mean when next in Bangkok to better illustrate what I mean (there's a bunch of them just around the corner from Hualamphong Train station)

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by Squeezie on 1/2/2007 at 20:21

I was in Bangkok about a week ago and after walking down Khao San Rd and turning the corner I was met by a dude in a blue TAT shirt. He said the government is currently doing a promotion (in light of the recent bombings I assume) whereby for 20-40 baht you get a tuk-tuk for as long as you like to take you around as many sites as you like and will wait for you while you're at each place. The catch is it has to take you to the TAT office off Radjdamnoen Nok (sp? - the one that leads away from the Golden Mount). I booked a couple trips through this office (have just finished a trek out of Chiang Mai) and so far so good - and have met a heap of people who have done the same thing to a greater or lesser extent.

Sontam - is this exactly the thing you are warning about above?

#4 Squeezie has been a member since 12/11/2006. Posts: 6

Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 21/2/2007 at 01:58

That Tuk Tuk driver was a tout I expect and while they get a commision for taking you the office they are usally always scams. You sound like you have been lucky but I wouldn't trust anyone taking you anywhere in Thailand. My wife agrees, and shes Thai!


#5 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464

Posted by stephka on 24/3/2007 at 18:43

Posted from within Vietnam.

I was just there and I know what you are talking about. We went to a travel agent that had a big TAT in gold letters on the right side of the building, and "Unseen Travels" in small letters on the left side. We had requested the taxi driver to take us to the TAT, and that is where he took us. We did book a tour, and it was fine, because as it turns out, they were liscensed by the TAT. Look for the TAT number when you use an agent--It has a format like #xx/xxxx. It's no guarantee that they won't stretch the rules a bit, but you will probably get your trip anyway. I'll never get on one of those big double decker tourist bus nightmares again though, so will probably steer clear of travel agents from now on.

#6 stephka has been a member since 14/7/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by RACER283 on 3/1/2008 at 05:47

My wife and I will be vacationing in Thailand in Feb. 2008.
We were thinking about the best transportation method and routing for the following:

Is it better to go back to Bangkok to get to AYUTHAYA or easier from KANCHANBURI?
I was told there is no train station in SUKHOTHAI...what would be the best way to get there from AYUTHAYA?
How is it trying to get accommodation in the above places in February?

Thank you for any help.

#7 RACER283 has been a member since 3/9/2007. Posts: 10

Posted by Lam_merison on 18/1/2008 at 19:43

from all question above , there is local bus but not quitely good for foreigner so services from tour operator should be better
but if u try
there is
1. BKK - ayuthaya is better than Kanchanburi - Ayuthaya
2.There is no train station there in sukothai so u have to start from BKK or ask tour operator there in Ayuthaya for availablbe services, if not ,going back to BKK to looking for some services is better

#8 Lam_merison has been a member since 29/5/2007. Posts: 14

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