TICA MICE UPDATE

November
2019

A World-Class Dining Destination

Supaksorn Jongsiri (second left), executive chef and owner of Sorn, and Chumpol Jangprai (sixth left), co-founder, managing director and chef at R-HAAN, received two stars from Michelin for 2020.‚ÄČ(Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

R-HAAN and Sorn have become the first Thai restaurants awarded two Michelin stars, the highest level for Thai eateries.

The two restaurants moved up from one star each last year as 29 restaurants in Thailand received awards in Michelin Guide Thailand 2020, a partnership of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Michelin.

"Gastronomy tourism is a key component of our latest Amazing Thailand 'Open to the New Shades' campaign, supported by Michelin Guide to attract visitors to Thailand as a world-class dining destination," said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

He said the TAT plans to promote the two restaurants in the future, bringing them to roadshows overseas. Mr Yuthasak hopes they can reach three stars in the future.

Chumpol Jangprai, co-founder, managing director and chef at R-HAAN, said he plans to cooperate with other Michelin-rated restaurants in Thailand for international roadshows to promote Thai food as a top-five cuisine along with French, Italian, Chinese and Japanese.

"We will keep improving the standard of our food, as the culinary journey never ends in presenting the uniqueness of traditional southern Thai cuisine, which consists of multicultural elements from China, Malaysia and southern Thailand, to diners," said Supaksorn Jongsiri, executive chef and owner of Sorn.

The honours this year include 94 Bib Gourmand awards, for which 17 restaurants are in Chiang Mai. The province, a new destination for this year's guidebook, offers a wide variety, ranging from high-end restaurants to local places with traditional Lanna cuisine, Mr Yuthasak said.

Moreover, the province is home to many royal projects that help preserve agricultural heritage and provide a sustainable livelihood for locals, while tourists are able to enjoy a farm-to-table food experience.

Mr Yuthasak said the TAT plans to organise events for the 17 restaurants to attract tourists from China, Japan and Hong Kong who are considered food enthusiasts.

The Bib Gourmand award recognises the best-value full course meals under 1,000 baht that reflect gastronomy tourism in Thailand with tasty dishes at reasonable prices, he said.

The TAT said the food and beverage segment ranked third among tourist spending in Thailand last year, after accommodation and souvenirs. Some 2,000 new restaurants opened nationwide last year, up 9.5% year-on-year, with total investment of 6.8 billion baht, up 50%.

Mr Yuthasak said that because next year will mark the 60th anniversary for both the TAT and Thai Airways International (THAI), both organisations are coordinating their marketing plans to entice higher-quality tourists.

The plans include inviting 60 couples consisting of foreign celebrities and influencers to fly to Thailand via THAI. The couples will co-create tourism campaigns to promote responsible tourism.



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