Japan Now for Top Food Tourism, Thailand Closes Gap on Second Place

Japan Now for Top Food Tourism, Thailand Closes Gap on Second Place

Thai cuisine has become a cornerstone of the country's tourism industry, garnering global recognition and active support from both the government and private sector. However, according to Nithee Seeprae, the Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Japan has recently surpassed Thailand in terms of culinary tourism branding.

Seeprae revealed that the survey conducted by KinetiCs Consulting Co Ltd comprised evaluations of Thailand's Culinary Image and the Michelin Guide Thailand 2023 project. The survey involved perspectives from 1,800 foreign tourist respondents via online platforms and 1,200 respondents through interviews, as well as 800 Thai tourist respondents via online platforms and 400 through interviews.

According to The Nation Thailand, the survey indicates that Japan has become the top destination for culinary tourism with a score of 56% in 2023, up from 54% the previous year. Thailand occupies the second position with 44%, rising from 38% previously, followed by China at 30%, also up from 24%. South Korea is in fourth place at 28%, slightly down from 29% before, while Hong Kong takes the fifth position at 27%, up from 25%.

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The survey also highlights the influence of Michelin Guide Thailand in determining dining choices. According to the survey, awareness of this guide among international tourists remains steady at 76%, with 18% of them having specific knowledge about the Thailand edition—a rise from 16% before.

This guide continues to have a significant impact, with 62% of tourists considering it an important factor in choosing travel destinations. Besides enhancing Thailand's culinary image, the Michelin Guide also significantly affects the behavior and satisfaction levels of travelers.

In 2023, approximately 95% of diners at Michelin-rated restaurants expressed high satisfaction, with 97% of them willing to recommend Thailand as a culinary destination in 2022.

The Michelin Guide Thailand project has also been a great success economically. In 2023, the project generated additional revenue of about 262.99 million baht from spending by foreign tourists on food, up from the previous year's 223.34 million baht.

The influence of the Michelin Guide is also felt among local travelers, with 96% of them feeling motivated to visit Thailand because of this guide, despite a decline in overall awareness compared to previous years.

The survey reveals a significant decline in awareness of the Michelin Guide among Thai tourists, dropping to 58% from 78% compared to the previous year. Similarly, awareness of the Michelin Guide Thailand also decreased to 46% from 61%.

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