Tourism Authority of Thailand Celebrates International Day of Happiness with Launch of ‘Million Smiles’

Press Release
Posted 3/16/2018

NEW YORK, NY (March 16, 2018) – In celebration of Thailand exceeding one million U.S. visitors in 2017 and timed with the International Day of Happiness (March 20, 2018), the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will launch Million Smiles and are naming Operation Smile as the charity beneficiary of the campaign. TAT’s social media-driven campaign helmed by celebrity ambassadors including reality TV personality and fashion photographer, Nigel Barker and actor and star of CW’s The Vampire Diaries, Michael Trevino, will call upon consumers to share their images of what makes them smile in Thailand. To further promote the spreading of smiles, TAT will make a contribution directly to Operation Smile to provide surgical care for children born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. This donation will be made in honor of the winner of the Millions Smiles campaign.

TAT would like to engage US travelers to spread smiles by sharing images via social media to opt in to a sweepstakes and the winner will receive a trip for two to Thailand.  To enter, contestants must post a photo of something that makes them smile about Thailand or themselves smiling in the destination, and include the hashtag #ThaiMillionSmiles within the caption. 

“As Thailand is known throughout the world as the ‘Land of Smiles,’ TAT is proud to celebrate the happiness our destination provides to visitors from all over the world, as well as the happiness of the those who live there,” said Charinya Kiatlapnachai, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's New York office. “TAT is also thrilled to shine a spotlight on Operation Smile’s work in helping the next generation showcase their beautiful smiles.”

In advance of the March 20th launch, TAT hosted a private showcase with its partners in New York City on March 15, 2018 to unveil the Million Smiles Campaign and renowned photographer Nigel Barker's imagery of Thailand. Best known for the 17 seasons spent as photographer and judge on America's Next Top Model, Barker, who now stars in Top Photographer, is a loyal supporter of Operation Smile and has previously worked with the children's medical charity. Also in attendance was Operation Smile celebrity ambassador, actor and star of CW’s The Vampire Diaries Michael Trevino, who has worked with Operation Smile for several years and looks forward to joining a future Operation Smile medical mission in Thailand.


About the Tourism Authority of Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was established in 1960 by the Royal Thai Government to be responsible for tourism promotion. Since 1965, TAT has had a presence in the United States, with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

About Thailand

Located just 15 degrees north of the equator, “Amazing Thailand” is one of the Southeast Asia’s premier travel destinations and home to well-known tourist locations including the capital city of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Ko Samui and Krabi. Known as the “land of smiles,” Thailand features some of the world’s finest luxury hotels and resorts, and offers visitors a rich tapestry of exotic architecture, culture, cuisines, traditions and adventures. For more information on Thailand, visit and

About Operation Smile

Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of safe surgeries for those born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities. With more than three decades of expertise, Operation Smile creates solutions that deliver free surgery to people where it’s needed most.  As one of the largest medical volunteer-based nonprofits, Operation Smile has mobilized thousands of medical volunteers from a wide range of medical specialties from more than 80 countries. Operation Smile engages public-private partnerships to advance health care delivery, train local medical professionals to provide surgical care for patients in their communities, donate crucial medical equipment and supplies, and increase access to surgical care so that everyone living with cleft is treated. Visit, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

This material is distributed by Quinn on behalf of Tourism Authority of Thailand. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.