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Thailand looks to tap into Gastronomy tourism

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) organised the ‘Thailand Live Gastronomy’ festival as part of strategies to put greater emphasis on Gastronomy Tourism. This is considered as an important part of travel through unique Thai local experiences.

Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT governor said, “Gastronomy tourism is one of the key highlights in TAT’s marketing plan 2018 to heighten Thailand as a preferred destination. We aim to leverage the uniqueness of Thai food to motivate tourists and foodies to embark on a culinary journey. They will be able to savour signature dishes in renowned towns and cities across the country and in turn, explore the unique Thai culture and ways of life.”

The Thailand Live Gastronomy with a tagline ‘Flavours to the World’ took place at Siam Square showcasing must-try signature local dishes from around the country in the ‘Original’ section. There were also special menus from seven famous Street Food areas of Bangkok, and fresh seafood from fisherman villages in the Southern Region. Thailand’s signature dishes included Tom Yum Kung. Phat Thai, Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad), Massaman Curry, and Green Curry. In addition, four of Thailand’s famous tuk-tuks or three-wheeled auto rickshaws were converted into local food trucks.

The three-day festival was organised to boost culinary tourism in the Kingdom. There was also the ‘Gastronomy Innovation’ section where talented Thai and foreign chefs showcased innovative ways of cooking Thai food in a specially-designed kitchen.

Other highlights of the event included the launch of the Michelin Guide Bangkok at the end of this year, and hosting of the fourth UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in Bangkok next year.

TAT to put the spotlight on Destination Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) held their annual TAT Action Plan meeting for 2018, which covers both international and domestic tourism.

TAT’s marketing plan 2018 has been designed to focus on generating revenue and increase visitor arrivals, promote new ideas and follow the development agenda of Thailand 4.0. This is being done using the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, as well as Inclusive Tourism that maintains a balance between economy, society and the environment.  All strategies are in line with the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan and 2nd National Tourism Development Plan.

With 2017 being considered a challenging year, TAT has highlighted many activities such as – Village to the World, Creative Thailand and The Link have been created to highlight the Thai Local Experience. This has proven successful as number of potential visitors and first-time visitors has increased significantly. Therefore, TAT will keep working on this concept for its action plan in 2018.

Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT governor said, “TAT will use tourism to promote sustainable development with the community as the ultimate beneficiary. We believe this will pave the way for Thailand to be a preferred destination among international visitors.”

To be targeted over the 12-month period of the fiscal year 2018, beginning October 2017, the niche-market customer segments were finalised at the annual meeting.

For the international marketing plan strategy, TAT has segmented target customers worldwide ranging from first-timers to repeaters, senior citizens to sports enthusiasts. TAT will also emphasise on niche markets including, Weddings and Honeymoons, and Ladies, as well as continue to create a brand image as a high-end and Luxury Travel destination.

Gastronomy Tourism will be focussed on more, which is considered as an important part of the travel through local experiences. Some of the highlighted activities are the opening of the Michelin Guidebook Bangkok and Thailand will host the 4th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism.

In 2018, TAT will change its marketing angle slightly with a new concept of ‘Open to New Shades of Thailand’. The concept will deepen the unique Thai local experience to a Million Shades of Thailand. This will give more depth to the presentation of Thailand’s tourism, grow the business for grassroots tourism sector players, and enhance the country’s image as a land of amazing diversity worth discovering further.

The number of visitors from January – June 2017, reached 17 million creating income of 876 billion Baht in which the China market was the first generator followed by Russia and Malaysia.  Realising the importance that tourism has for the country’s economy, the Royal Thai Government has set a growth of not less than eight per cent increase in tourism revenue for 2018.