Thailand showcases Thai local experiences at ATF 2018

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The countdown to the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2018 in Chiang Mai from 22 to 26 January is underway with Thailand rolling out the red carpet to welcome participants under the theme of ‘Sustainable Connectivity, Boundless Prosperity’.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the TAT will have a dedicated area called ‘Thailand Prestige’ highlighting Thai local experiences through the country’s rich culinary tradition in line with its marketing focus on Thai gastronomy tourism.

“Thai food continues to gain worldwide acclaim and is a major attraction for the millions of tourists who visit Thailand every year.

“ATF 2018 will draw on Chiang Mai’s outstanding reputation for tasty Thai gastronomy tourism that is so engrained in Lanna culture both for international and domestic tourists visiting Thailand’s Northern Region.

“The ‘Premium Product Display’ will also showcase kitchen products and decorative items featuring a Thai design for international markets in the field of food innovation as well as award-winning itineraries that also promote Thai local experiences.”

Highlights include an interactive cooking demonstration by celebrity chefs from Chiang Mai. Top talent poised to tantalise the taste buds of those in attendance include Chef Toei from Chiang Mai’s ‘Nasi Jampru’ Thai-fusion restaurant, Chef Kaew Koe the ‘Sandwich Man’ and Chef Black from Chiang Mai’s ‘Blackitch Artisan Kitchen’.

Other ‘Premium Product Display’ items of interest include pottery and ceramic products from Prempracha’s Collection, celadon ceramics from Chiang Mai Celadon, handcrafted ceramics from PaChaNa Studio plus silver and lacquer ware from Wualai Silver. Northern local food products on offer include dried meat and sausages from Vanasnun, spices and seasoning from Nithi Foods, sweet corn foodstuffs from Sun Sweet and honey processed food items by Bee Product.

For first-hand experiences of Thai gastronomy tourism, the ‘Premium Product Display’ features some of the Thailand Tourism Awards’ Best Itineraries’ including a Hivesters’ Talat Noi Neighbourhood tour of Bangkok’s old community; Andaman Island Group’s The Phuket Explorer that features the charming Peranakan culture; and NG River Guide’ Fly Fishing Project Season 2, which highlights the way of life of the local pgazkoenyau tribe in Lamphun.

All 10-member countries are also invited to showcase their uniqueness at the ‘ASEAN Product Showcase’ section where Thailand will present a Thai language learning module in the form of a ‘multi-media box’.

The ASEAN countries are collectively Thailand’s largest visitor source markets in Asia. Thailand welcomed more than 8.19 million ASEAN visitors during January – November 2017. Malaysia is the largest market with total arrivals of 2.98 million arrivals (+6.28%), followed by Lao PDR. with 1.45 million (+16.12 %) and Singapore with 898,965 (+6.10%)

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.