Paris, August 8, 2011 — Thailand’s participation in this year’s Tropical Carnival de Paris, a grand summer festival of music and dance in the French capital, won an award of excellence and was seen by millions of spectators and TV viewers in France and Europe.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Royal Thai Embassy in Paris jointly organised the Thai floats, which participated in the colourful 3 July parade, which marked its 10th anniversary this year by moving to Champs Elysées Avenue, the most famous thoroughfare in France.

Organised by the Municipality of Paris and Federation Carnival Tropical de Paris, the summertime parade is seen by thousands of spectators along both sides of the avenue, as well as senior French officials, Ambassadors from various countries and numerous other VIPs.

This year, the parade featured the participation of 60 countries, in addition to the French Overseas Territories (Martinique, Reunion, French Polynesia and New Caledonia). Other country participants included China, India, Brazil and the UK.

Thailand’s presence comprised two performances – one being cultural and the other musical.

In the cultural performance, TAT adopted the theme of the unique and world-famous festivals of Loi Krathong and Songkran. Students from the Sukhothai College of Dramatic Arts and Thai students in Paris joined forces to present the traditional icon of “Miss Noppamas” (the legendary female figure to have first devised the Krathong float in the 13th century) holding her Krathong and lantern.

In the backdrop, the performance prominently featured a Thai flag and the Amazing Thailand sign and was followed by a Thai classical dance.

The musical performance featured a troupe of music students from Pattaya City showing their distinctive capabilities as the parade slowly made its way down the 2.6-kilometre distance, winning considerable applause from the thousands of spectators lining both sides of the avenue.

Mrs Pensuda Prai-aram, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Tourism Business who represented the TAT at the parade, said, “I would really like to thank all those who helped make Thailand’s participation in this parade a great success by presenting some of the country’s most prominent iconic images to the people of France and the thousands of tourists from around the world who were in Paris at the time.

“We are very pleased that our participation won the award of excellence in the international category from the Carnival’s judging committee.”

The exposure is expected to help boost French tourism to Thailand which has shown a healthy growth in recent years. France is the fourth biggest source of visitor arrivals from Europe, after the UK, Russia and Germany. In 2010, visitor arrivals from France totalled 461,670 an increase of 8.1% over 2009.

In 2010, French visitors to Thailand stayed an average of 14.80 days, while their average daily expenditure was 3,558 Baht (US$119.21) per person. This resulted in about 23 billion Baht (US$775 million) tourism foreign exchange revenue to the Thai economy.

As of August 2011, there are 17 weekly direct flights linking Bangkok and Paris operated by Air France and Thai Airways International. Other airlines also bring visitors to Thailand through other points like Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.

In March 2010, the Tourism Authority of Thailand was pleased to support “Largo Winch Part II”, a French movie production which was filmed in Thailand and released in theatres all over France at the end of last year.