Bangkok, 16 December, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce the official launch today of the latest edition of The MICHELIN Guide in Thailand, which features extended coverage of the country’s vibrant dining scene with the addition of a new destination – Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “Not only does The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang-Nga 2022 come with extended coverage of Thailand’s fantastic culinary scene with a new destination, it also comes as The Michelin Guide in Thailand has been extended for another five years from 2022 to 2026. Reflecting the success of the guide since it was first introduced in 2017, this extension will ensure the continued promotion of gastronomy tourism in Thailand to the highest international level.”
In recognising Thailand’s public health measures against Covid-19, the launch took place as a virtual, live-streamed press conference via the MICHELIN Guide Thailand Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MichelinGuideThailand) and MICHELIN Guide Asia Youtube channel (www.youtube.com/MichelinGuideAsia).
The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang-Nga 2022 lists 361 restaurants and eateries in the featured destinations, indicative of the truly remarkable kaleidoscope of culinary experiences on offer in Thailand. This includes 26 in Ayutthaya, a former capital of Thailand (when it was known as Siam) and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is showcased as a remarkable gastro-tourism destination for all ages with an ideal blend of old glamour and new charm.
Up from the 2021 edition’s 299 total listings, these include 6 two-star and 26 one-star establishments, 133 Bib Gourmand establishments, and 196 selected entries which included 91 in Bangkok, 16 in Ayutthaya, 37 in Chiang Mai and 52 in Phuket and Phang-Nga.
The listing of Bib Gourmand – the rating MICHELIN gives for quality cuisine that is carefully prepared and reasonably priced with very good value-for-money at a maximum of 1,000 Baht (three course meal of starter, main course and dessert) – establishments includes 33 first-time entries (nine in Bangkok, 10 in Ayutthaya, six in Chiang Mai and eight in Phuket and Phang-Nga) and six promoted entries (two in Bangkok, two in Chiang Mai and two in Phuket and Phang-Nga).
Interestingly, the 2022 edition of The MICHELIN Guide in Thailand features a higher number of Bib Gourmand ratings in the street food category than the restaurant category in both Bangkok and Ayutthaya, reflecting how these two cities are great places for good value street food.
Introducing the new MICHELIN Guide Thailand Service Award
Continuing a tradition in which each issue of The MICHELIN Guide in Thailand has featured the addition of a new destination or new culinary awards, the next five editions likewise promise a number of new elements. This will see coverage further extended to three more provinces including one in the Northeast, and the introduction of a new award category presented by the TAT – the MICHELIN Guide Thailand Service Award recognising outstanding service personnel in the culinary and hospitality industries.
The new award will join the existing MICHELIN Guide Young Chef Award – presented by Blancpain for a young starred chef with exceptional talent and potential – and MICHELIN Guide Service Award – presented by the TAT 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 distinction – given to those restaurants that embody and embrace sustainability in their day-to-day operations – that were introduced in the guide’s 2021 edition.
In addition to the print version, The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang-Nga 2022 will also be available on the official MICHELIN Guide website and the MICHELIN Guide mobile app (iOS and Android).
Thailand’s Gastronomy Tourism
Gastronomy tourism is a key part of Thailand’s tourism marketing and promotion in visitor source markets the world over, and features strongly in the recently launched ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022’ campaign. In line with the Thai government’s Creative Economy policy under the Bio-Circular-Green or BCG Economic Model, the promotion of Gastronomy Tourism aims to enhance Thailand’s image globally as a leading tourism destination, and in a sustainable development manner.
This promotion of Gastronomy Tourism has yielded some impressive results for Thailand, as shown in 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.
Findings from the research showed 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-featured 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.