Thailand introduces The Michelin Experience @ Isan

Shining a spotlight on Northeastern Thai food culture and the addition of the Northeast (Isan) to the 2023 edition of The MICHELIN Guide Thailand.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is introducing ‘THE MICHELIN EXPERIENCE @ ISAN’ activity to promote Thai-Isan food culture and congratulate 33 entries from four representative cities of the Northeast or “Isan” region included in the Bib Gourmand list in the new MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2023 edition.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “Thailand’s fantastic culinary scene indeed helps strengthen the kingdom’s status as a world-class dining destination. Food also forms part of the kingdom’s soft-power foundations that continue to be highlighted in the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2023 Amazing New Chapters’ campaign.”

With Northeast Thailand featured for the first time, The MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2023 now features 441 dining venues in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phuket and Phang-nga, and four new Isan provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani.

THE MICHELIN EXPERIENCE @ ISAN activity shined a spotlight on Thai-Isan food culture, and celebrated the inclusion of the region in the sixth edition of the MICHELIN Guide Thailand.

Out of 69 entries from the four Isan cities, 33 are highlighted in the Bib Gourmand list. These are nine entries in Nakhon Ratchasima, 11 in Khon Kaen, six in Ubon Ratchathani, and seven in Udon Thani.

As well as presenting congratulatory certificates to new entries from Isan, the event also promoted popular menus from Bib Gourmand-listed restaurants in Udon Thani;, namely VT Namnueng, Matcha Pha Suk, Krua Khun-Nid Restaurant, Peng Duck Noodle, Madam Pahtehh 2515, Arunee Namnueng, and Larb Nua.

The partnership between TAT and The MICHELIN Guide began in 2017 with the launch of The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok 2018. The success throughout the first five years resulted in the project being extended for another five years from 2022 to 2026. This guarantees continued promotion of gastronomy tourism in Thailand to the highest international level.

Two papers – one by Kenetixs Consulting on Gastronomy Tourism in Thailand and the other an assessment by Ernst and Young of The MICHELIN Guide Thailand from 2017-2020 – similarly concluded that economic value had been created for the country on several fronts.

This included an increase in food spending by foreign tourists by double in 2019 to 842.4 million Baht and the creation of 4,800 additional jobs in the food-related sector. Also seen was the attraction of more foreign chefs coming to work in Thailand, and encouragement of investment in fine-dining in the country.

In addition, the latest assessment by Kenetixs Consulting on Gastronomy Tourism in Thailand and of The MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2022 found positive impressions from foreign tourists who had experienced MICHELIN restaurants. For example, 98% of them would recommend dining at a Michelin restaurant to others, and 94% of them would travel to dine at other Michelin restaurants around Thailand.

Last but not least, in line with the kingdom’s increased drive towards more sustainable and inclusive tourism, TAT also places emphasis on promoting the MICHELIN Green Star distinction – given to those restaurants that embody and embrace sustainability in their day-to-day operations. Currently, there are three MICHELIN Green Star restaurants; namely, PRU, Haoma, and Jampa. (TAT)