Michelin Guide Thailand 2023 to expand to "Isan" in northeastern Thailand
On April 26, 2022 Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Michelin Guide jointly announced that Michelin Guide Thailand will expand its coverage to Isan, northeastern Thailand, from the Michelin Guide Thailand 6th Edition, published at the end of 2022.
There are 20 provinces in Isan, of which 4 provinces, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, and Khon Kaen, were selected for coverage.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said:
“Thailand's Isan has great potential to attract tourists with its fascinating local lifestyle, culinary culture and history, and diverse tourist attractions. Not only they just have delicious and authentic Isan cuisine but also there are many fascinating attractions to come, such as Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site mainly located in Nakhon Ratchasima, Partem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani, Ban Chiang Archaeological Site in Udon Thani, and Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum in Khon Kaen. We hope that the launch of the Thai version of the Michelin Guide will not only make the world aware of the vibrant culinary scene in northeastern Thailand, but also support the tourism and the local economy in Isan at the same time. "
According to Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of MICHELIN Guides, Michelin inspectors said he was impressed by with the rich and unique Isan cuisine which uses simple cooking methods to provide delicate and complex taste flavoring such as boiling, grilling, steaming.
Isan cuisine utilizes not only its delicious cooking method, but also the local wisdom that food preservation technology enables the preservation of ingredients such as fish and seasonal vegetables for a longer period of time. Fermented fish [Pla Ra], which is made by fermenting local fish with salted rice, is the most famous and major preservative ingredient used in many dishes and sauces, and has been registered as a heritage of national cultural wisdom since 2012.
Many Isan-born chefs have extensive culinary knowledge and experience working in world-famous restaurants abroad, and they are returning to their hometown of Isan to open their own restaurant, said Gwendal Poullennec. They combine local ingredients with superior cooking techniques to provide higher quality new Isan cuisine and play an important role in taking Isan cuisine to the next level. It can be expected to become a tourist destination and contribute to the development of the local community and market economy. "
Comparing the Michelin Guide Thailand 2018 edition with the latest 2022 edition, the number of restaurants selected has increased from 126 to 361. Of these, the number of Michelin-starred restaurants has increased from 17 to 32, and the number of restaurants in Bib Gourmand has increased from 35 to 133. The target area of restaurants has been expanded not only to Bangkok but also to Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang Nga.
In this way, the Michelin Guide Thailand for the past five years has contributed to promoting Thailand as an international gastronomic tourism destination. By expanding the target area of Michelin Guide Thailand to Isan, it is expected that Thai gastronomic tourism will be further developed and contribute to the visit of tourists not only from Thailand but also from overseas.
For more information on the Michelin Guide, please visit the official Michelin Guide Thailand website or follow the latest information on the 2023 Michelin Guide Thailand version on Facebook.
Tourism Council of Thailand calls for the abolition of Thailand Pass from June
The Tourism Council of Thailand aims for 10 million foreign tourists to visit Thailand by the end of 2022.
Currently, Thailand is gradually deregulating entry to Thailand, and from May 1st, both the departure country and the PCR test at the time of entry will be unnecessary, and the PCR test will be completely abolished. However, as posted in the news on this site yesterday, it is certain that the number of foreign tourists is gradually increasing due to the gradual dereglation of entry control, but it is still far from the state before the pandemic.
The Tourism Council of Thailand believes that the last major factor that foreign tourists hesitate to visit Thailand is the registration of the Thailand Pass.
It has been reported that tourists hesitate to register because the Thailand Pass requires complicated application procedures and the application is basically based on English. Also, with the current method of applying for a Thailand pass, tour operators cannot apply for group tours to Thailand, and all travelers must apply for a Thailand pass individually, so it has been a barrier for group tour type tourists to travel to Thailand.
According to Vichit Prakobgosol, vice-president of Tourism Council of Thailand, the abolition of the Thailand Pass by June will attract an additional 2 million foreign tourists from group tours, and it will ensure the achievement of 10 million foreign tourists by 2022.
Currently, China is implementing strict immigration restrictions, and as a result, Chinese tourists are refraining from traveling abroad. Chinese tourists are Thailand's main tourist target, and Mr. Vichit Prakobgosol added that if China relaxes immigration restrictions, the number of foreign tourists could even reach 12 million by 2022.
July is the summer vacation season, and demand for short-distance travelers from neighboring countries from Thailand is expected. It is also the graduation season before high school students who are going to enter college. Mr. Vichit stated that the abolition of the Thailand Pass has urged the Thai government to abolish the Thailand Pass by June and allow tour operators to organize group tours to Thailand by the summer vacation of July.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand in March 2022 increased by about 58,000 from February 2022.
Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) released the statistics of foreign tourists in March 2022.
According to the data released by MOTS, the number of foreigners entering Thailand in March 2022 was 210,836.
The number increased by about 58,000 from 152,954 in February 2022, but in Thailand, two PCR tests were required on the first day of entry and the fifth day of entry until the end of February 2022, but PCR tests on the 5th days was abolished on March 1st. The data clarified that the number of foreign tourists increased due to the effects of deregulation of entry.
The country ranking of the number of foreign tourists in March 2022 is as follows.
1. United Kingdom 19,717
2. Germany 17,096
3. USA 14,185
4. France 12,562
5. India 12,142
6. Russia 9,197
7. Australia 8,417
8. Singapore 7,954
9. Israel 6,557
10. China 5,730
11. Japan 4,704
12. Malaysia 4,548
13. Sweden 3,910
14. Denmark 3,760
15. Bangladesh 3,737
16. Korea 3,539
17. Myanmar 3,504
18. Netherlands 3,125
19. Vietnam 2,916
20. Switzerland 2,874
For comparison with the previous month, the country ranking of the number of foreign tourists in February 2022 is as follows.
1. Russia 17,862
2. Germany 13,381
3. France 12,217
4. United Kingdom 11,789
5. USA 8,244
6. China 4,898
7. Sweden 4,788
8. Australia 4,737
9. Israel 4,675
10. Denmark 3,437
11. Singapore 3,096
12. Switzerland 2,759
13. India 2,646
14. Finland 2,532
15. Korea 2,369
16. Netherlands 2,287
17. Japan 2,136
18. Malaysia 2,120
19. Italy 1,911
20. Canada 1,793
It can be seen that the number of tourists from countries where entry deregulation is progressing, mainly in Europe, is increasing. When traveling to Thailand, the entry restrictions on the Thai side are relaxed, and at the same time, the more countries where the deregulation of the traveler's country's entry when the traveler returns to the country is progressing, the more people go abroad.
Japan was 17th with 2,136 people in February, but increased slightly in March to 11th place with 4,704 people. Compared to the average year before the pandemic, where more than 100,000 Japanese people visited Thailand each month, the result was far far far below normal. This is considered to be a situation in which it is difficult for Japanese living in Japan to travel abroad because Japan still enforces extremely strict entry regulations that are rarely seen in countries all over the world.
Since Thailand no longer requires PCR testing in the country of departure from April 1, the number of foreign tourists in April is expected to increase further, and PCR testing at the time of entry will be replaced by the ATK test from May 1. , Further foreign tourists are expected to increase. While implementing strict infection prevention measures, the Thai government is implementing various positive measures to revive the damaged Thai tourism industry.
In the future, it is quite possible to imagine that the number of foreign tourists to Thailand from countries where entry restrictions have already been relaxed will increase, and we hope the deregulation of entry restrictions of countries such as Japan which many tourists used to visit Thailand will move forward as soon as possible.