Thai govt adding street-food to spice up tourism promotion

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Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, right, cooks Thai fried noodles to promote the “Thailand Street Food Festival 2020” publicity campaign at Government House in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Photo: Bangkok Post

The Thai government is moving to spice up the country’s culinary scene next year with a plan to blend world-renowned Thai street food with its tourism promotion policy to attract visitors and boost the economy.

The government is collaborating with the private sector to organise a series of street food festivals in major tourist destinations, starting in February in central Bangkok.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday presided over the launch of the “Thailand Street Food Festival 2020” publicity campaign.

The festival comprises six street food festivals, with vendors laying out the first feast on Silom Road in Bangkok on Feb 1-2.

The banquet will then move on to Ayutthaya on Feb 29-March 1, before rolling into Chon Buri’s Pattaya on April 3-6, Chiang Mai on April 25-26, Khon Kaen on May 1-3, and Phuket on May 30-31.

“Thailand’s street food is world-famous. CNN has declared Bangkok to be the world capital of street food. Street food is scrumptious and varied and tourists can find it any time, any place and at cheap prices,” Gen Prayut said.

CNN named Bangkok as the city with the best street food in the world in 2016 and 2017.

According to research firm Euromonitor International, revenue from Thailand’s street food was estimated at 276 billion baht (about $9.15 billion) in 2017, up by 4.3 percent from 2016. That figure is expected to increase to 340 billion baht (about $11.27 billin)in 2021. In 2016, there were an estimated 103,000 street food stalls across the nation, accounting for 69 percent of all places to eat.

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