PHUKET: Tourism officials have launched a slew of food festivals to be held in Phuket throughout December in the hope of boosting domestic travel to the island to help the island’s economy.
Branded as the “Thai Taste Therapy Festival”, the campaign was officially launched by Chai Nakhonchai, Director-General of the Department of Cultural Promotion, and Apichai Chatchalermkit, Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), yesterday (Dec 10).
The slogan of the campaign is “Thai food ‒ the most delicious medicine in the world”, aimed at highlighting the health benefits of Thai cuisine.
“Phuket food reflects the culture and traditions that have existed since the time of our ancestors and have been passed down and passed on from generation to generation for hundreds of years,” Mr Chai said.
“And one of the outstanding features of Phuket cuisine is the herbs and local ingredients, which are unique to Phuket and the main theme of the Thai food festival. The festival is for tourists and foreigners residing in Phuket to know Phuket food in the dimension of medicinal properties that are beneficial to health.
“It presents a new perspective on Thai food in line with the situation where people around the world are increasingly concerned about health. The Thai Taste Therapy Festival will help expand Phuket’s Thai food culture internationally.
“It helps to promote the image of Phuket as a City of Creative Gastronomy as recognised by UNESCO, and it helps generate income for all sectors from upstream to downstream, from local communities to restaurants and hotels, which promotes a sustainable economy.” Mr Chai said.
Mr Apichai of the TAT noted, “By highlighting the advantages of medicinal benefits in Thai food, this will encourage tourists to be interested in traveling to visit the source of herbs and raw materials as well as to find the owner of the recipe who cooks the menu.
“This is the true meaning of valuable culinary tourism, because it gives tourists the opportunity to complete a variety of experiences related to food. It also benefits the local community and business operators in the tourism industry, and in all sectors, leading to the creation of food tourism in a truly sustainable way.”
Irin Riksasan, project manager of the festival, explained that the festival is packed with activities in Phuket throughout December, such as the “Thai Taste Therapy Trip” Phuket travel packages.
“There are also discount promotions at restaurants in Phuket participating in the project, whether it’s a The Charm Phuket beauty salon in Cherng Talay or Tu Kab Khao or even Blue Elephant,” she said.
“Chimthai.asia to bring food products with rare Thai ingredients and well-selected community food products to jointly convey to customers both domestically and internationally through the Artisan online marketplace of chimthai.asia. Not only that, we also have a highlight activity “Thai Taste Therapy Market” that showcases various products currently underway at the Arena area at Blue Tree Phuket from Dec 10-12,” she added.
Thai Smile Airways has also joined to support the campaign.
Sanchan Sathapornwuthikhun, Director of Inflight Services at Thai Smile Airways said, “Thai Smile and MasterCard will take everyone on a journey to explore delicious and healthy dishes at famous restaurants in the Thai Taste Therapy editions to be held in six locations: Chiang Rai, Nan, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, Krabi and Phuket.
“THAI Smile has increased strict measures to keep passengers safe along with service personnel, who must be fully vaccinated. We are ready to bring you all to experience a new journey, including a promotion for Mastercard cardholders to receive a B200 discount when purchasing tickets with Thai Airways and Thai Smile Airways with the promo code MCTHAITaste,” he said.
Rewat Areerob, President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor), has announced a series of food and goods festivals to be held in Phuket in December and January to help boost local people’s incomes.
The “Rhoi Nat Yat Dai” festival (“Food & Goods Festival”) will first take place at Patong Beach on Dec 17-19.
“This event is a continuation of the ’Roi Rim Lay’ festival, which is a project to strengthen the foundation of Phuket’s economy, and aims to stimulate and revitalise Phuket’s economy after being affected by the COVID-19 epidemic,” Mr Rewat explained in a radio interview earlier this week.
The first edition will be held at Patong Beach on Dec 17-19. The highlight of the event is ‘O-Tao Giant Pan’ [in which the popular oyster-based dish will be cooked in a giant wok], which will be offered for free tastings by visitors,” he said.
The second edition of the festival will be held at Sanam Chai, located opposite Phuket Provincial Hall on Narisorn Rd, in Phuket Town on Jan 7-9, where free tastings of the popular local noodle dish Hokkien Mee will be on offer, Mr Rewat said.
“New dishes created by local chefs will be on show as well. There will also be a gold chef to show off their skills in Japanese cooking,” he added.
The third event will be held at Laguna Phuket in Cherng Talay, Thalang, on Feb 4-6. There will be giant pan Guay Tiew Gui for free to taste too,” Mr Rewat continued.
“The purpose of this event aims to encourage people to put their money into the Phuket economy, which will bring real benefits to the people, namely farmers, producers and local business owners who will be able to make more money,” Mr Rewat explained.
“It also promotes tourism in Phuket by bringing food and culture identity, including the use traditional Phuket costumes during tourism presentations,” Mr Rewat said.
“Everyone will find a large number of goods and services at fair and realistic prices, which reduces the cost of living in purchasing goods for people’s consumption,” he said
“This event also is part of the campaign to reduce global warming. The event will not use foam in food packaging and no alcoholic beverages will be sold as well. It also shows the continuation of Thai cultural and musical performances,” Mr Rewat said.
CHECK IN PHUKET, CHECKS OUT
Meanwhile, the Check In Phuket promotional campaign to support five local villages by highlighting their culinary prowess finally drew to a close as Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong officiated an event held at the Cape Panwa Hotel on Thursday (Dec 9).
The Check In Phuket “community tourism” campaign was launched to highlight the local dishes and lifestyles of five local villages in Phuket to inspire tourists to travel to the villages to enjoy what the villages have to offer, namely in the way of serving local delicacies.
The five villages were Baan Koh Maphrao, on Koh Maphrao (Coconut Island) off Phuket’s east coast in Moo 6, Koh Kaew; Baan Palai in Moo3, Chalong; Baan Pa Krongcheep in Moo 6, Thepkrasattri; Baan Manik in Moo 7 Srisoonthorn; and Baan Tha Chatchai at the northern tip of the island in Moo 5, Mai Khao.
Baan Koh Maphrao won the “Community Chef” cooking contest held as part of the campaign, with the contest held at the Cape Panwa Hotel earlier this week.
“Phuket has more charm than what everyone knows as beautiful world-class marine attractions. Phuket Island still has a community way of life that is more touching than many people think,” Vice Governor Piyapong said at the closing event on Thursday.
“Therefore, this project will help strengthen the community by bringing leading chefs to suggest ways to improve local food service standards locally available as the ultimate food menu. It is considered a success for people in the community,” he said.
“The five pilot villages will serve as role models for other villages and communities to develop their strengths to become a leading international community tourism destinations,” V/Gov Piyapong added/
“Community tourism tourists can be welcomed in every season. Phuket provincial government understands that economic development linking community tourist attractions to bring the tourism to communities will help create an even more sustainable economy with the development of people’s quality of life at all levels to be able to pass through any situation It has the power to strengthen the economy of Phuket,” he concluded.
Source: The Phuket News