Taste of Thailand Tour elevates Thai F&B industry for tourism

The Thailand Department of Tourism (DoT), in collaboration with the Thailand Tourism Standard agency, recently concluded this year’s Taste of Thailand tour.

This series of one-day seminars, conducted across six provinces, aims to elevate Thai restaurants and hotels to international F&B standards.

Local F&B operators in Bangkok joined for the final session of the Taste of Thailand tour on May 28, 2024 at The Food School Bangkok (Photo: Anne Somanas)

The tour visited the provinces of Chonburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Songkhla, and Nakhon Ratchasima, educating over 300 select local high-potential F&B entrepreneurs on essential topics such as current restaurant trends, food service in hospitality, and F&B standards for tourism.

It also included discussions on integrating traditional Thai cooking wisdom, sustainable practices, and local sourcing.

Additionally, the tour featured a chef’s table showcasing alternative proteins, authentic Thai flavours, and locally sourced products. The seminars invited well-known speakers including prominent designers, F&B owners and consultants, celebrity chefs, and other famous personalities, with the sessions being moderated by a well-known DJ.

Worateera Suwannasorn, director of sector for the development of tourism services at the DoT, expressed her enthusiasm for the programme: “The Taste of Thailand tour generated much interest from local operators and was a resounding success. By equipping restaurants with the knowledge and tools to excel, we’re not only enhancing the dining experience for tourists but also empowering Thai businesses to compete on a global stage.”

The Taste of Thailand tour is an annual series of seminars hosted for select Thai F&B entrepreneurs with high potential to become Thailand Tourism Standard certified.

At the end of each seminar, participants are invited to go through the certification process. The DoT allocates funding each year to subsidise the audit fee (approximately US$1,000 per venue) for a set number of venues.

While the Thailand Tourism Standard includes a set of 56 ISO-like standards encompassing different areas of business, one theme that encompasses a few standards is selected to be highlighted in the seminars each year.

“The Department of Tourism, which serves on the supply side and focuses on enhancing capacity, is the government counterpart to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) working on the demand side,” stated Suwannasorn.

“We encourage venues to go through the audit and certify them; the TAT then helps to market them to tourists and consumers,” she concluded.

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