Bangkok, Sukhothai join Creative Cities list

Bangkok, Sukhothai join Creative Cities list

Foreign tourists visit Sukhothai Historical Park. Sukothai has been added to the list of Unesco Creative Cities.
Foreign tourists visit Sukhothai Historical Park. Sukothai has been added to the list of Unesco Creative Cities.

Bangkok and Sukhothai have been added to the list of Unesco Creative Cities, a distinction for cities with creativity as core components of urban development, along with 64 other cities globally.

For the 2019 competition, the Culture Ministry submitted Bangkok as a city of design and Sukhothai as a city of crafts and folk arts.

The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration has been developing Sukhothai for community-based tourism since 2011, said Thaweebhong Wichaidit, director-general of Dasta.

In addition to Unesco World Heritage Sites like Sukhothai Historical Park, the former capital of the Thai Kingdom, the province in central Thailand also has a unique local culture involving handicraft products and traditional textiles comprising local weaving techniques, silverware, sculpture, woodwork and Sukhothai's Sangkhalok ceramic ware.

"We hope this award will help draw more recognition from tourists, members of the Unesco Creative Cities network and local travellers," Mr Thaweebhong said.

The agency plans to improve gastronomy tourism in Sukhothai through a partnership with the Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association to create new tourism products using local foods, such as khao perb (Sukhothai noodles).

Earlier this year, Sukhothai, Nan and Suphan Buri were shortlisted by Dasta to the Culture Ministry to be nominated as Creative Cities. The latter two were turned down because they needed more preparation.

"We will properly manage the budget for next year and cooperate with related agencies to enhance the capability of Sukhothai and other areas that we are supervising for the next competition in two years," Mr Thaweebhong said.

Since the first nomination in 2015, there are 246 Unesco Creative Cities in seven categories: crafts and folk arts, media arts, film, design, gastronomy, literature and music.

Phuket was designated as a city of gastronomy in 2015 and Chiang Mai for crafts and folk arts in 2017.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry reported that Sukhothai, which is one of 55 second-tier provinces, welcomed 1.04 million tourists during the first nine months this year, up 1% year-on-year, generating 2.42 billion baht.

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