TAT adds Isan spice to Michelin Guide

(Photos courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand)

Great news for tourists and especially food enthusiasts travelling to the northeastern region. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has created its "Michelin Experience @ Isan" campaign to promote Isan cuisine.

The campaign includes entries in the Michelin Guide Thailand 2023, the guide's 6th edition which, along with hundreds of venues in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phuket and Phangnga, now covers four additional Isan provinces: Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani. To expand the potential for gastronomic tourism and boost local culinary scenes in the Isan region, Michelin Guide has added 33 entries in four major towns to the Bib Gourmand list.

"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," said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of TAT.

Popular restaurants like Madam Pahtehh 2515, Arunee Namnueng, Matcha Pha Suk, VT Namnueng, Krua Khun-Nid, Larb Nua and Peng Duck Noodle are among the attractions in Udon Thani. Arunee Namnueng serves up northern Vietnamese-style delicacies like fried crispy spring rolls and Vietnamese pizza based on the family recipes, while Madam Pahtehh 2515 is famous for a twist on modern Thai-Isan-Vietnamese cuisine.

According to Kenetixs Consulting on Gastronomy Tourism in Thailand and the Michelin Guide Thailand from 2017-2020, international visitors' food expenditure increased by two times to 842.4 million baht in 2019, while 4,800 new jobs in the food-related industry were created.

In the most recent evaluation by Kenetixs Consulting on Gastronomy Tourism in Thailand and the Michelin Guide Thailand 2022, much positive feedback from foreign tourists who had dining experiences at Micheline-starred restaurants was noted. For instance, 98% of respondents stated that they would recommend people dine at a Michelin-rated restaurant and 94% said they would visit other Michelin restaurants around the country.

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