Thailand promotes food tourism


Thailand’s Thrust into Food Tourism

Thailand, a country known for its vibrant street markets, golden temples, and exotic beaches, is adding another feather to its cap: Food Tourism. And why not? After all, isn’t food a journey in itself? A journey that tantalizes the taste buds, narrates a cultural tale, and offers a gastronomic adventure.

What’s The Buzz About The “Kaphrao Grand Prix”?

Imagine being in the bustling streets of Bangkok, where amidst the symphony of honking vehicles and haggling vendors, you stumble upon a grand event that showcases a dish that’s close to every Thai’s heart. Yes, we’re talking about the world’s first “Kaphrao Grand Prix”. Initiated by Yuthasak Supasorn, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), this event is poised to offer a delightful treat to foreign travelers while concurrently boosting local ingredient exports.

Unveiling Pad Kaphrao: A Dish Beyond Borders

What Makes Pad Kaphrao Special?

Ever wondered what happens when fiery Thai basil meets juicy meat and fragrant garlic? It’s a riot of flavors! Pad Kaphrao, traditionally a concoction of pork, chicken, beef, or seafood stir-fried with Thai holy basil and garlic, paints a vivid picture of Thailand’s culinary palette. Drizzled with soy sauce and optionally crowned with a fried egg or khai dao, it is as authentic as Thai cuisine gets.

Tracing Back to Pad Thai: The Original Culinary Ambassador

But this isn’t Thailand’s first culinary rodeo. Remember Pad Thai? Those stir-fried rice noodles that often become the benchmark for one’s Thai food adventures? A similar event was previously orchestrated to promote this iconic dish, cementing Thailand’s position as a gastronomic powerhouse.

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The Confluence of Tourism and Culinary Delight

Bangkok: Asia’s Culinary Crown Jewel

Recently, accolades showered upon Bangkok and Thailand, naming them Asia’s best culinary city and destination for 2023, respectively. Courtesy of the World Culinary Awards, this recognition reinforces the notion: When in Thailand, eat as the Thais do.

The Economic Implications: Turning Thai Food into Gold

But why this focus on food? Yuthasak highlights that food decisions are pivotal when tourists select their travel destinations. With food acting as a soft power magnet, it has the potential to spike tourism spending and catapult Thailand into the top echelons of primary ingredient exporters globally. After all, it already enjoys a place among the world’s top 15!

Aims and Aspirations of The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)

Leveraging Food as Soft Power

The focus is not merely on tantalizing taste buds but also on generating revenue. By promoting authentic Thai recipes and culinary traditions, Thailand aims to foster food innovation research. The ripple effect? A surge in the popularity of Thai ingredients and recipes on the global stage.

The Strategic Food Tourism Game Plan

With an ambitious target of accruing tourism revenue to the tune of 2.3 trillion baht (US$65.4 billion) this year, the TAT has set its eyes on food contributing a significant 20% to this figure. The long-term vision? Upping this food expenditure by tourists from 20% to 25% by 2027.


Thailand is weaving a delectable tale, one that’s laced with fragrant basil, sizzling meats, and an ambition that stretches far beyond its borders. As it gears up to host the Kaphrao Grand Prix, one can’t help but anticipate the culinary delights and economic boons this venture promises. So, next time you’re in Thailand, remember it’s not just a feast for the eyes but also a symphony for the taste buds. Ready for a Thai culinary adventure?

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  1. What is the “Kaphrao Grand Prix”?
    • It’s an event organized to showcase the authentic Thai dish, Pad Kaphrao, to foreign travelers and promote local ingredient exports.
  2. How is Pad Kaphrao different from Pad Thai?
    • While Pad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish, Pad Kaphrao consists of meat stir-fried with Thai holy basil and garlic, typically served with rice.
  3. When is the Pad Kaphrao Thailand Championship scheduled?
    • It’s expected to take place from August 25-27 near Phadung Krung Kasem Canal.
  4. What percentage of tourism revenue does food contribute in Thailand?
    • Currently, food accounts for around 20% of total tourism receipts, with plans to increase it to 25% by 2027.
  5. Why is Thailand focusing on food tourism?
    • Food is a major decision factor for tourists and can help stimulate tourism spending. It also plays a role in promoting local ingredient exports and fostering food innovation research.