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Food tourism can generate billions of dollars in revenue, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

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Thailand has become synonymous with good food. Thai cuisine has an international reputation as good as they get.

From humble street food to posh restaurants, from tried and tested to trendy and new, from common and convenient kuai tiao (noodle soup) to popular khao man kai (chicken and rice) to spicy som tam (papaya salad), and other dishes too many to list, Thai streets and restaurants are teaming with food famous the world over.

From humble street food to posh restaurants, 
Thai streets and restaurants are teaming with food famous the world over
From humble street food to posh restaurants, Thai streets and restaurants are teaming with food famous over the world

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been playing a significant role in getting the kingdom’s gastronomy word out. Their priority efforts to increase awareness and appreciation for gastronomy tourism is partly driven to build bridges with the agricultural sector, which remains the country’s biggest employer and largest industry overall.

The Thai economy revolved around agriculture for centuries and well before tourists were arriving in measurable numbers.

TAT wants to highlight that and blend the two. Many Thai dishes also place great emphasis on nutritional ingredients including high-value herbs, which helps TAT focus on health and general wellness.

Gastronomy Tourism Thailand means good food in any language
Khao Man Kai (chicken and rice)

Promoting gastronomy tourism makes economic sense, too. Food tourism can generate billions of dollars in revenue, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), with international visitors to Thailand spending about 20 percent of their travel budget on food.

TAT is closely involved with the UNWTO and in 2018 hosted the 4th UNWTO Forum on Gastronomy Tourism.

Thailand was the first country in Asia to host the event and participants raved about the smiling Thai hospitality. And the food. The agenda focused on advancing cultural and culinary issues across the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia-Pacific region.

Gastronomy Tourism Thailand means good food in any language
Som Tam (Spicy Papaya Salad)

In a significant move in recent years, TAT teamed up with century-old France-based Michelin renowned the world over for their restaurant star rating system.

The partnership produced the first Michelin Guide Bangkok. The inaugural Bangkok guide highlights 98 restaurants including international, Asia and mostly Thai with 28 Thai street-food stalls. A first for Michelin.

The Michelin Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang Nga 2019 was recently released. It increased the Bangkok section to include cities surrounding the capital and introduced Phuket island off the west coast and Phang Nga, the province on the mainland next to Phuket. The edition includes 217 dining locations, as well as lodging.

Three restaurants in Bangkok that previously had stars kept theirs even with new chefs running the restaurants. They are Elements, Nahm, and Saneh Jaan. On Phuket, PRU restaurant was award a star. Located at a luxury resort, it uses fresh ingredients grown on its own 96-hectare organic farm.

The Michelin Guide Thailand project will run until 2022 and guidebooks similar to the one about Bangkok, Phuket and Phang Nga will cover other popular Thai destinations.

Thai food ingredients and equipment

To diversify their efforts, TAT also joined with Gault & Millau and released a bilingual 70-page Tasty Thailand guidebook. Printed in French and Dutch, it was a supplement to the Gault & Millau restaurant guide Belux edition 2018. Founded in 1965 by food critics Henri Gault and Christian Millau, the Gault & Millau restaurant guides rate restaurants entirely on the quality of the food from 1 to 20.

Most of their guides focus on Europe with Canada and Australia making the grade outside Europe. And now Thailand.

Gastronomy Tourism Thailand means good food in any language
Thai curry ingredients

Around the same time as the launch of the Michelin Guide Thailand project, TAT also hosted the Thai-Licious Journey Two web series to the kingdom with one of America’s most celebrated chefs of Thai cuisine and the first Amazing Thailand Culinary Ambassador, chef Andy Ricker.

Owner and chief chef of Pok Pok restaurants in Portland, Oregon on America’s west coast, and New York City on the east coast, Ricker is also a bestselling cookbook author. He received the Bib Gourmand Awards in 2017 for the 2018 Michelin Guide New York City. He is one of many chefs branding Thai cuisine around the world.

The second Thai-Licious web series season highlighted TAT’s increasing focus on gastronomy tourism with culinary highlights in Thailand’s East Chanthaburi and Trat provinces, and in the south in Chumphon. The series showed how experiencing Thai cuisine is the perfect way to start understanding the kingdom’s culture and way of life.

TAT’s gastronomy tourism efforts put the spotlight on how regionally diverse Thai cuisine is, with each of the kingdom’s five regions having distinct cuisines, and in some cases small areas and even individual towns within an area being known for their specialty.

If you are passing though Phetchaburi south of Bangkok Thais will suggest you pick up some khanom mo kaeng (egg custard). The coastal areas each have their special seafood dishes.

Gastronomy Tourism Thailand means good food in any language
khanom mo kaeng (egg custard)

The variety of cuisine in Thailand is mind boggling. Thai food is famous all over the world. It is rare if a major city in any country does not have a Thai restaurant. That could be a small simple takeout establishment, or fine-dining. They are all helping brand Thai cuisine as world famous. But the best way to know about one of the world’s most identifiable cuisines remains by word of mouth.

Thai food can be enjoyed anywhere, but it is best in Thailand in the atmosphere only found in the mid of local communities.

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Tourism

Thailand welcomes first Finnair flight from Stockholm to Phuket

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Bangkok, 25 October, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) today welcomed the start of Finnair’s latest direct non-stop service from Stockholm to Phuket during the 2021-2022 winter season.

The welcoming ceremony was presided over by Mr. Piyapong Choowong, Phuket Vice Governor, and Mrs. Titiporn Manenate, TAT Executive Director for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East Region, as well as representatives from the tourism-related public and private sectors.

Mr. Piyapong Choowong, Phuket Vice Governor, said, “Finnair’s Stockholm-Phuket flight marks a milestone for the reopening of Phuket to international tourism, following the successful Phuket Sandbox programme, which was launched in July under well-planned health and safety precautions, and has now become a model for the reopening of other Thai destinations.”

Finnair will operate on the Stockholm-Phuket route from 24 October 2021-24 April 2022, starting with 2 flights per week. It will increase to 3 flights per week from 29 November 2021-17 April 2022.

Also, during this winter season, the airline will operate on the Stockholm-Bangkok route with 2 two flights per week from 22 October 2021 to 21 April 2022.

In addition, Finair will be operating from Helsinki, Finland, to Phuket and Bangkok, with 2-4 flights per week during November this year and March next year.

Mrs. Titiporn Manenate, TAT Executive Director for Europe, Africa and Middle East Region, said, “This latest Stockholm-Phuket flight also marks Finnair’s first non-stop service from Sweden to Thailand, allowing visitors from Sweden to escape winter and enjoy Thailand at its finest during the annual cool season. The flight also reiterates the airline’s confidence in Thailand as a destination.”

Sweden is Thailand’s largest source of visitors from the Nordic region. Also, Phuket is one of the most popular holiday destinations among the Swedish, whose spending per trip is averaged at 85,000 Baht per person and length of stay is 19 days.

Sweden and other Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway – are among the 46 approved countries and territories from where travellers may enter Thailand under the ‘Test & GO’ quarantine-free entry requirements from 1 November, 2021.

The post Thailand welcomes first Finnair flight from Stockholm to Phuket appeared first on TAT Newsroom.

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More COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed in Thailand from 16 October 2021

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Bangkok, 16 October, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update that more COVID-19 restrictions in the dark-red zone provinces have been relaxed while additional businesses and activities have been allowed to resume operations from today (16 October, 2021).

  • Restaurants and eateries, cinemas, theatres, shopping malls, sport stadiums, and public parks are now allowed to resume normal opening hours, but must close no later than 22.00 Hrs.
  • Convenience stores, fresh markets, and flea markets are now allowed to open for all types of goods with the opening hours extended for one hour longer or until 22.00 Hrs. All 24-hour shops must close nightly from 22.00-03.00 Hrs.
  • Day-care centres for elderly people are now allowed to resume operations.
  • Hotels, exhibition halls, convention halls, trade fair centres, or similar types of venues are now allowed to open for meetings, seminars, or other types of events and ceremonies up until 22.00 Hrs.
  • Shopping malls, shopping centres, community malls, or similar establishments can also open for meetings, seminars, or other types of events and ceremonies up until 22.00 Hrs., but must not hold any sales promotional activities and continue to close the amusement parks, water parks, and gaming centres.
  • Public parks, sports stadiums, gyms, fitness centres, and all types of venues for exercise can resume normal opening hours, but no later than 22.00 Hrs.

Meanwhile, gaming centres in shopping malls, shopping centres, community malls, or similar establishments that are not located in the dark-red zone province can now resume operations.

Curfew, Interprovincial Travel & Gatherings of people

To be in effect until 31 October, 2021, the night-time curfew in the dark-red zone provinces has been reduced from 6 to 4 hours, or between 23.00-03.00 Hrs.

Public and private organisations as well as people are still prohibited to organise any activities prone to the spread of disease, but the number of attendees has been increased for each zone. Dark-red zone: No gatherings of more than 50 people (from previously 25 people). Red zone: No gatherings of more than 100 people (from previously 50 people). Orange zone: No gatherings of more than 200 people (from previously 100 people).

Travel between dark-red zone provinces and other areas can resume normal operations but must apply social distancing measures.

Entertainment venues

All types of entertainment venues, including pubs, bars, and karaoke shops are to remain closed. However, the government mentioned that these businesses may undertake preparation to be ready for reopening.

Self-protective measures and distancing efforts

As usual, people nationwide are asked to continue abiding by the health and safety measures in place; such as, wearing a face mask at all times while outside of their residence, regularly washing hands with soap and water/cleaning alcohol, and avoiding unnecessary close contact with others.

TAT would like to remind all travellers to continue with D-M-H-T-T-A precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application.

Thailand’s colour-coding system for COVID-19 control are in place for the following provinces:

23 (down from 29) Maximum and Strict Controlled Areas or dark-red zone provinces

Central Region: Bangkok and 22 other provinces: Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Ratchaburi, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, and Saraburi; Eastern Region: Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Prachin Buri, and Rayong; Northern Region: Tak, and Southern Region: Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala.

Chanthaburi and Nakhon Si Thammarat have been moved up from red to the dark-red zone.

30 (down from 37) Strict Controlled Areas or red zone provinces

Central Region: Ang Thong, Chai Nat, Lop Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Sing Buri, and Suphan Buri; Eastern Region: Sa Kaeo and Trat; Northern Region: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Phitsanulok, and Phetchabun; Northeastern Region: Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani, and Southern Region: Chumphon, Phatthalung, Ranong, Satun, Surat Thani, and Trang.

Ang Thong, Lop Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Sing Buri, and Suphan Buri have been moved down from the dark-red to red zone, while Surat Thani has been moved up from the orange zone.

24 (up from 11) Controlled Areas or orange zone provinces

Northern Region: Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, and Phrae, Sukhothai, Uthai Thani, and Uttaradit; Northeastern Region: Amnat Charoen, Bueng Kan, Buri Ram, Loei, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, and Yasothon, and Southern Region: Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Phuket.

Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, Sukhothai, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, and Yasothon have been moved down from red to orange zone.

The post More COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed in Thailand from 16 October 2021 appeared first on TAT Newsroom.

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