The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has celebrated the opening of an exciting new chapter in Thailand’s dynamic culinary evolution with the launch of the first Michelin Guide Bangkok.
A total of 98 Thai, Asian and international restaurants, including for the first time 28 Thai street-food stalls, are featured in the inaugural Michelin Guide, which was launched at a gala ceremony in the Thai capital on 6 December. The selection of the Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018 features 3 two-star restaurants, 14 one-star restaurants and 35 Bib Gourmand restaurants.
It is the first step in a project known as the Michelin Guide Thailand, covering the period 2017–2021. The Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018 will be followed by similar guidebooks covering the food, service and catering sectors in other popular destinations such as, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hua Hin.
In his opening remarks at the launch, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, the TAT Governor, said, “The inaugural Michelin guidebook will elevate Thailand’s food scene to a new level of excellence and significantly enhance the country’s reputation as a world-class dining destination.
“The Michelin Guide is a measure of gastronomic quality for many people around the world. It sets a high benchmark, and we are confident that the launch of Michelin Guide Bangkok will attract more food connoisseurs to Thailand, which will in turn increase revenue for restaurants and substantially contribute to Thailand’s overall tourism and leisure market.”
He also congratulated the first restaurants and chefs in Bangkok to be awarded prestigious Michelin Stars.
According to the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), food tourism can generate US$150 billion in revenue. For Thailand, in 2016, international visitor expenditure on food totaled 326 billion Baht, representing 20 percent of the tourism revenue.
Mr. Yuthasak said, “TAT has made Gastronomy Tourism an important part of its marketing strategy under the Thailand 4.0 socio-economic development plan.
“Thai cuisine is famous all over the world. It is rare a major city in the world that does not boast a Thai restaurant, be it in the form of fine-dining or takeaway. All our culinary delights have their roots in Thai agriculture, which was our bedrock source of economic livelihood well before tourism. Now, the Royal Thai Government is more firmly linking both.”
In 2018, TAT is also supporting the publication of a bilingual Thailand guidebook Gault and Millau Belux 2018 edition. The 4th UNWTO Conference on Gastronomy Tourism will be held in Bangkok in May 2018.