TAT, Michelin to push new destinations through food tourism

The Thai province of Chonburi has been selected as the “new city debut” in the Michelin Guide Thailand for 2025, as the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) continues its work to market destinations through food.

Thapanee Kiatphaibool, governor of TAT said at today’s press conference that both the NTO and Michelin Guide have worked together for more than seven years to promote the value of the food industry in Thailand tourism, as well as drive the economic growth of the country.

TAT’s Nitthee Seeprae and food KOL Mark Wiens speaking at a panel during the new city debut announcement press conference on April 3 in Bangkok, Thailand

“Today’s (announcement) marks another milestone in promoting the soft power of food that will help make Thai tourism experience more meaningful and valuable,” said Thapanee.

Since 2019, Michelin Guide Thailand has announced at least one new city or area of focus annually, including Phuket, Phang-Nga, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Koh Samui and the Surat Thani mainland.

Chonburi, already a popular destination with local foodies, includes cities like Pattaya, Sriracha – famed as the origin of Sriracha sauce – and the navy port of Sattahip.

TAT’s deputy governor for marketing communications, Nithee Seeprae, expressed hope that the Michelin collaboration would help to stimulate the economy in Thailand’s secondary destinations.

“We can already see how when famous chefs open their restaurants in Thailand, it drives tourism here. We hope that this collaboration could boost tourism to Chonburi up to 20 per cent,” he shared.

Food blogger and KOL Mark Wiens highlighted seafood as the main draw of the province and said that he hopes the designation of Michelin restaurants will help to draw tourism into local communities throughout the province and help their signature dishes to be more widely known and recognised.

“Tourists currently know Pattaya, but not much about the greater province of Chonburi – it would be great to be able to recognise more areas of (the province),” he opined, adding that the incentive to drive a few hours to a famous restaurant can also lead to travellers booking longer stays for explorations in the area.

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