Bangkok – The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) are pleased to announce that the success of The MICHELIN Guide Thailand over the past five years, since its launch in 2017, has resulted in the project being extended for another five years from 2022 to 2026 guaranteeing continued promotion of gastronomy tourism in Thailand to the highest international level.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “The MICHELIN Guide Thailand in its four editions so far has been received tremendously well, and has been instrumental in bringing Thailand’s world-class culinary scene to the world. The next five editions to come under TAT’s expanded partnership with The MICHELIN Guide will aim to build on that success and promises a number of new elements. This will see its search extended to three more provinces, including one in the Northeast, and the introduction of a new award category – the MICHELIN Guide Thailand Service Award presented by TAT will recognise outstanding service personnel in the culinary and hospitality industries.
“At the same time, The MICHELIN Guide Thailand will play an important role in helping drive the government’s Creative Economy policy under the Bio-Circular-Green or BCG Economic Model. It will do so by enhancing the image of Thailand globally as a leading tourism destination through the promotion of Gastronomy Tourism, and in a sustainable development manner.”
Mr. Manuel Montana, President of Michelin East Asia and Australia, said, “The extended partnership will allow us to provide further support and contributions to Thailand’s gastronomy and tourism sectors – a much-needed morale booster for local entrepreneurs, especially during and after the pandemic. With the MICHELIN Guide’s active presence through both traditional and digital channels on a global scale, we will continue to enhance the exposure of Thailand as a world-class culinary destination, as well as help amplify the rebound of Thai tourism after the Covid-19 crisis. Additionally, in line with the Thai government’s policies around the Bio, Circular and Green economy, The MICHELIN Guide’s efforts to raise awareness and promote sustainability in the culinary and hospitality sectors, will benefit not only the country’s economy and its people, but also the planet as a whole.”
The partnership between TAT and The MICHELIN Guide began in 2017 with the launch of The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok 2018, the aim being to help food lovers explore the Thai culinary scene and to raise the profile of Thai restaurants while boosting the economy at the same time.
Right from the start, it was planned that other destinations around Thailand would be added to subsequent editions of the MICHELIN Guide. This was seen with the second edition – The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang-Nga 2019 – extending coverage from the capital city to its surrounding provinces of Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon, and Samut Prakan and the two Southern provinces.
The following year, the further-expanded The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang-Nga 2020 was released with the addition of the renowned Northern city of Chiang Mai and its thriving culinary scene.
Still more expansion came with the arrival of The MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021, the current edition, but rather than being the addition of more destinations it was in the form of two new awards and a new distinction. These were the MICHELIN Guide Young Chef Award – for a young starred chef with exceptional talent and potential, the MICHELIN Guide Service Award – for a restaurant personality showing a genuine passion in making customers feel special and ensuring they enjoy a wonderful dining experience, and the MICHELIN Green Star – recognition given to those restaurants that embody and embrace sustainability in their day-to-day operations; such as, recycling, food waste reduction, and promotion of local ingredient sourcing.
Representing the truly remarkable kaleidoscope of culinary experiences on offer in Thailand, The MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021 lists in total 299 restaurants and eateries throughout the featured destinations. These include 6 two-star and 22 one-star establishments, 106 Bib Gourmand establishments, and 165 Plate rated establishments.
The fifth edition of The MICHELIN Guide Thailand, due for release at the end of 2021, will see the addition of yet another new destination, this time Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. A former capital of Thailand (when it was known as Siam) and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya’s dining scene is an impressive fusion of old and new, and the city will be showcased as an outstanding gastronomy tourism destination for all ages.
Research into Thailand’s inclusion of gastronomy tourism as one of the key elements of its overall tourism promotion and marketing has resulted in some impressive findings. Two papers – one by Kenetixs Consulting on Gastronomy Tourism in Thailand and the other an assessment by Ernst & Young of The MICHELIN Guide Thailand from 2017-2020 – similarly concluded that economic value had been created for the country on several fronts.
This included an increase in food spending by foreign tourists of double in 2019 to 842.4 million Baht, the creation of 4,800 additional jobs in the food-related sector, a 33% increase in food-related events; such as, dinner with chefs from MICHELIN-starred restaurants, and a 137% increase in street food and fine-dining MICHELIN Guide’s awarded establishments. Also seen was increased development and enhancement in the food-related sector towards the maintaining of high service standards, the attraction of more foreign chefs to come and work in Thailand, and encouragement of investment in fine-dining in Thailand.