Cheese tours helping Thai hotels boost bottom line, connect with local communities

Kicking off in November 2023, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) sponsored the Thai Cheese Tour 2023-2024, which embarked on a year-long quest to spread the word on the thriving Thai artisanal cheese industry with pop-up events in popular tourist destinations, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and more.

Born from a need to support its cheese suppliers during the pandemic, Vivin Grocery came up with the idea to bring the spotlight onto the burgeoning Thai dairy sector with its innovative Cheese Buffet. The event proved so popular that Vivin Grocery, run by husband and wife team, Samantha Proyrungtong and Nicolas Vivin, decided to take the show on the road.

Cheese lovers gathering at the Thai Cheese Tour held at Nómada Dusit Thani Hua Hin

Featuring a thoughtfully curated selection of Thai cheeses, homemade cold cuts, jams, chutneys, dried fruits, pickles, and artisanal bread from Vivin, tour partners also get to showcase their own locally-sourced products, hospitality excellence and property as part of a fun, celebratory event.

The Cheese Tours also brings other benefits for partners, as Tim Sargeant, co-founder & chief marketing officer of Explorar Hotels & Resorts, explained.

“Explorar Hotels & Resorts prides itself on working with local products and supporting a thriving local community. The tour is a unique opportunity to work with Vivin Grocery and their local Thai cheese products, as it is something new and exciting to bring to Koh Samui.”

“One of our core offerings is providing unique F&B event pop-ups throughout the year for our guests. These events are not only to create exposure for a growing culinary scene, but also opportune as a diverse revenue stream and marketing vehicle for the hotels. We promote these events throughout the region and see an increase in hotel occupancy and in-house spending from the events. Additionally, working with local farmers and products creates a great story and exposure for both brands,” concluded Sargeant.

For Ajish Menon, hotel manager at Dusit Thani Hua Hin, the tour is an opportunity to get people talking about the property, increase footfall and positively impact revenue.

“The Vivin Cheese Tour is a strong marketing opportunity for us. Guests love cheese and love to have the chance to appreciate this kind of food. As we are a little further out from the main town, the cheese tour and these types of events help raise our profile and let people know about the property through word-of-mouth. Which, in turn, enables us to stay relevant, compete with city hotels and increase revenue.”

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