An organization called the Tourism of Thailand was founded by Prince Purachara Jayakara, the Prince of Kamphaengphet. When sitting as a train commander, the prince sent stories about Thailand to get published in the USA. In 1924, he set up an advertising department for the State Railway of Thailand to help tourists who visited Thailand and promote Thailand among foreigners. The office was originally at the State Railway of Thailand but was later moved to Hua Lamphong Railway Station. Subsequently after Prince Purachara Jayakara went to work for the Ministry of Commerce and Transport, the office also moved there but it was still working closely with the State Railway of Thailand.
In 1936, the Tourism of Thailand was the focus of changes when the Ministry of Economics presented a Thailand Travel Promotion project to the cabinet, which had three main directives:
1. To promote tourism.
2. To accommodate tourists
3. To maintain tourist locations and accommodations.
The Ministry of Economics gave the responsibility to the Department of Commerce because they already had a commerce and travel sector. The Ministry of Economics took the helm until World War II when the main office was bombed and work on their projects had to be ceased.
In 1949, the Department of Advertising made a deal with the Ministry of Economics, then the Ministry of Commerce and Transport, to transfer the tourism business to the Office of the Prime Minister.
In 1958, while Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat was recovering at Walter Reed Hospital in the USA, he was interested in a tourism business and took the opportunity to study about it out of a wish to support his homeland’s tourism industry. A year later, when he assumed the position of the Prime Minister of Thailand, he also sat as the president of the tourism association and turned it into an independent organization.
Subsequently, as the tourism industry was booming and developing exponentially, the scope of the organization grew with it, extending to development and conservation of tourism resources and promotion of travel. A rebranding occurred once again and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was finally established on 4 May 1979.