Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Promoting gastronomy [video]

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Opinion: Promoting gastronomy [video] | Thaiger

Rangsiman Kingkaew is a Phuket native and the Secretary-General of the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) He holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in economics from Thammasat University.

Here he talks about his ideas on improving the standards of local eateries to live up to the province’s new title as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

PHUKET: Phuket was awarded the title ‘City of Gastronomy’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on December 11, 2015 in recognition of the island’s rich culinary history and unique cuisine.

The question is, are we ready for this?

I think Phuket should do something to promote its wonderful variety of local dishes and make it easier for tourists to try the island’s famous food, which is after all, a major attraction and part of the Phuket experience.

There are so many good local restaurants here in Phuket but a lot of them are not in the kind of condition that tourists would find attractive, so we have to come up with ways of improving them and getting more tourists to eat there.

Tourists are not like locals. They don’t know about restaurants which are not publicly promoted.

The restaurant’s location, size, signs and menus do not really give tourists any clues as to the quality and style of the food they serve. Even those restaurants that are well-known among locals for serving great food do not get visited by tourists if those places aren’t promoted.

Firstly, restaurants need to have menus in English. Secondly, they need to be suitably sized to accommodate groups of tourists. Thirdly, they must be clean and hygienic, and lastly, they need to be easily accessible to tourists.

Take menus, for example. If we go abroad and find that all the menus are written in the local language, we just won’t know what the dishes are or how to order. The same principle applies here.

Some restaurants in Phuket do, of course, have English-language menus and that is really appreciated. However, we want to see more of the same at the smaller local eateries.

Dishes labelled in English along with short descriptions and a nice photo of each dish is a very good way of attracting more foreign customers. Menus illustrated in this way are also very useful for people with food allergies.

Locals might not worry too much about the hygiene and appearance of places where they know they can get good food, but foreign visitors might not feel as comfortable about it, so we need to improve on these aspects to make foreigners feel safer about eating at small, local restaurants.

That doesn’t mean restaurant owners have to redesign their whole venue and kit it out with air conditioning. They just have to make it clean and comfortable enough to attract more wary tourists.

It can be as simple as hanging a large sign out front with the name of the restaurant written in English.

Kristi and Isaac do lunch Phuket-style at Lock Tien in the Old Town. Situated on the corner of Yaowarat and Dibuk roads, Lock Tien offers a range of mouth-watering local dishes. Video: PGTV

Additionally, there are many restaurants in Phuket Town serving authentic dishes unique to Phuket, but we don’t see so many of these in popular tourist spots such as Patong and other beach areas.

Some tourists will never venture very far beyond the beach where they are staying but they should have the chance to taste local delicacies. So, I want restaurants in such spots to think about how they can offer and promote more local dishes to the tourists.

At my hotel, Sukko Spa, I have done my best to promote Phuket dishes. For breakfast we serve Hokkien Noodles, Moo Hong, and several other local favorites. I see that many other Thai hotel owners in Phuket have done the same.

Many small, local restaurants can be easily improved with a little help from the community and local authorities. Advice can be given to restaurant owners on improvements they can make.

Translating menus into English is not too difficult and can be done quite cheaply. Perhaps with the help of professional English advisers we can establish some standard ways of spelling and describing dishes in English as a template for small restaurants wanting to make such improvements.

Public health officials can also help educate restaurant owners on making their venues more hygienic and attractive to foreign diners.

After receiving recognition from UNESCO last year, we did conduct a workshop for locals, but there was concern among some of them that changes would mean losing the traditional aspects of eating out in Phuket.

However, I don’t think these kinds of improvements will have a negative impact. Far from it, in fact.

Improving hygiene and having menus in English will neither change the taste and identity of the food, nor the Phuket way of life.

Restaurants do not necessarily have to become modern looking. Just clean, clear about the food they serve and easily accessible.

Now that Phuket has been awarded UNESCO City of Gastronomy status it is very important that we live up to that title.

— Kongleaphy Keam

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Northern Thailand1 hour ago

Meteor causes explosion, green glow above Northern Thailand

Hua Hin3 hours ago

Elephant that broke into Hua Hin kitchen now in memes and ads

Tourism4 hours ago

Phuket governer reviews rules, new details for July 1 arrivals

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Shipment of 2 million Sinovac vaccines arrive from China

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Autopsy requested for young policeman with vaccine

Thailand8 hours ago

Despite corruption allegations, street lamp project continues in Samut Prakan

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox is GO, vaccine cocktails, US warning on Thai travel | June 23

Best of8 hours ago

Top 5 Provinces to visit near Bangkok

Tourism9 hours ago

CCSA gives details on “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” travel schemes

Best of9 hours ago

Top 5 Cities to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Gap between AstraZeneca vaccines cut from 16 to 12 to 8 weeks

Best of9 hours ago

Top 5 Steakhouses in Bangkok

Best of9 hours ago

Top 5 Pubs in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Daily death count hits record high; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

US is “unable” to provide Covid-19 vaccines to Americans who live overseas

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending