Phuket Tasty Fest 2018 promotes gastronomy for the Green Season

The Tourism of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office, in collaboration with Phuket Province and Phuket City Municipality, is organising the “Phuket Tasty Fest 2018” from 1 to 2 September at the 72nd Anniversary Queen Sirikit Park – also known as “Dragon Park” on Thalang Road.

The event is aimed at boosting tourism during Thailand’s Green Season. It also spotlights Phuket gastronomic delights recognised in UNESCO Creative City listing, as the first city in Thailand and Southeast Asia as well as being one of only 18 cities worldwide that has been accredited in the category by UNESCO. Later this year, Phuket food culture will shine again with the launch of the new Michelin Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang Nga 2019.

Visitors will be spoiled for choice throughout the two-day Phuket Tasty Fest 2018, as “Phuket Food Culture Poised for Global Stardom” has many different zones, offering a wide array of food. These range from Phuket iconic dishes such as Mi Hokkien (Chinese Malay noodle fare), Mi Hun Ba Chang (rice vermicelli noodles with pork spare rib soup), and Oh Tao (fried small oysters mixed with taro, shrimp, pork crackling and spring onions) to fresh seafood.

There are many other culinary delights to suit every appetite, including fusion food from modern kitchens, halal food and a comprehensive range of desserts. There are also signature dishes from 14 provinces across Thailand’s Southern Region. Meanwhile, the DIY – do it yourself – zone offers opportunities for food lovers to try a hand at cooking local Phuket dishes.

Visitors need not have to worry about handling cash, as the Government Savings Bank’s “GSB Pay” is providing cashless payment via its QR code at the event. Moreover, food at the event can be ordered in advance via a smartphone app.

In line with the TAT’s responsible tourism policy, the TAT Phuket Office is encouraging visitors and shop owners to reduce plastic and foam usage. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own food containers.

The two-day event will also feature cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs from the Iron Chef Thailand, cocktail making exhibition featuring Thailand’s champion bartenders, live music by Thai singers and bands, contemporary show by contestants from Thailand’s Got Talent. There’re also games and lucky draws.

Phuket Tasty Fest 2018

For more information, please contact:
TAT Phuket Office
Tel: +66 (0) 7621 2213, 7621 1036
Facebook Fanpage: Phuket Tasty Fest

TAT launches ‘Travel Thailand in Style, Reduce Plastic Waste’ initiative

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor

Bangkok, 15 August, 2019 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is enhancing its ongoing responsible tourism strategy by announcing a new ‘Travel Thailand in Style, Reduce Plastic Waste‘ collaboration initiative with various stakeholders in a bid to cut tourism-related waste by up to 50 per cent by 2020.

The framework will see TAT work hand in hand with strategic partners in launching publicity campaigns for responsible tourism. Public and private sector partners include the Expedia Group, Tourism Council of Thailand, Thai Hotels Association, the Chao Phraya River tourism-related businesses including ICONSIAM, Nonthaburi Municipality, Siam Piwat Retail and Development Company, and local communities in Bangkok.

The collaboration and follow-up initiatives will encourage both tourists and businesses to address waste problems in key travel destinations generated by the country‘s tourism sector.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “This collaboration is set to serve as a catalyst within Thailand’s travel and tourism sectors. These activies will instil a sense of environmental consciousness as well as encourage tourists to travel responsibly by leaving only footprints and taking only good memories.

“TAT will take a lead role in providing support and recommendations on how to reduce waste and single-use plastics. We will encourage consumption of reusable or sustainable items; such as, plant-based drinking straws instead of plastic straws. Cotton bags instead of plastic bags, water tumblers instead of plastic bottles, reusable food utensils instead of single-use plastic or foam items.”

The initiative will kick off in Bangkok and then expand into secondary tourist destinations around the country.

Through its actions TAT will continue to highlight its commitment to Thailand’s marine environment and ocean conservation, as well as the rescue of imperilled marine animals that are most at risk from plastic.

TAT convenes brainstorming forum to improve tourist safety and security

Bangkok, 14 August, 2018 – Thailand is set to undertake a sweeping overhaul of all the country’s safety and security measures relevant to the travel and tourism industry.

More than 150 participants from all around the country attended a half-day forum on 9 August, 2018, at the Athenee Hotel Bangkok to analyse the key issues and brainstorm ways to enhance safety and security for visitors.

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Presided over by H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, the forum was held under the theme of “Travel around Thailand, Safe Everywhere”. It was also attended by Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and representatives of numerous private and public sector associations.

Mr. Weerasak said: “Thailand has recently experienced numerous incidents impacting the safety and security of both Thais and foreign tourists. This has had a negative impact on the image of tourism and could potentially impact on the tourist atmosphere of the country over both the short and long term.

“In the short term, it could lead to cancellation of travel bookings. In the long term, it could lead to a lack of confidence in the service business, especially in relation to the safety and security of life and property of tourists.”

Under the forum, it was discussed that if Thai tourism was to maintain its competitive advantage, in accordance with the 20-year national development strategy (2017–2037), it would be necessary to set measures and guidelines to strictly enforce the rules and regulations and ensure proper coordination among all the various entities.

The Minister said that last year Thailand attracted 35 million visitors, which is equal to the population of a sizeable country. He said the decline in arrivals from China which followed recent accidents; such as, the boat mishap off Phuket was not important compared to the value of a human life.

“For sure, we can launch another marketing campaign based on discounted rates, but it is more important to win the hearts of the Chinese people by showing them that we are truly sorry for the accident and that we are serious about fixing the problem that caused it.”

He said the Royal Thai Government was deeply appreciative of the remarks made by Chinese President Xi Jinping calling on Thai authorities to do everything possible to ensure safety and security for all visitors, not just the Chinese.

According to TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT is responsible for maintaining the competitiveness of tourism marketing and ensuring visitor satisfaction. As such, the outcomes of the safety and security forum would go a long way towards ensuring that Thailand remains a “Preferred Destination” for global visitors.

All the measures and recommended actions generated by the forum would be divided into three parts: Preparation Measures, Crisis Management Measures, Post-Crisis Relief Measures. These will be communicated to the National Tourism Policy Board and the Cabinet to approve for further action by the relevant agencies.

Mr. Yuthasak said: “The overall goal is to reduce the number of accidents, crime and threats to the life and property of tourists. This will ensure the good image of Thailand as a quality tourist destination and boost the confidence of tourists in our safety and security measures.”

*Photo gallery of the forum in session

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Phuket and Khao Lak surf spots offer visitors uncrowded, friendly waves and warm azure waters

Phuket is home to the occasional point break with reefs, but it’s mainly made up of beach breaks that offer fairly uncrowded, mellow waves, and the warm azure tropical waters of the Andaman Sea. Most of Phuket’s West coast beaches are surfed during the monsoon season. The best spots that can handle a storm swell and produce clean surf include Kata Beach, Kalim Beach, Kamala Beach, Surin Beach and Nai Han Beach.

Anyone can have a blast surfing here!

Surfing in Phuket might not seem as impressive as in Bali, Tahiti’s Teahupoo, or the Mentawais, but there are many good waves to be had. There is also the reality of flat lake-like conditions outside the short swell season during which the mushy, onshore conditions are inconsistent, windblown and rainy. At least, there are fewer tourists for surfers to share the beaches with.

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The safest bet for the aspiring wave rider is southwest facing Kata Beach. It is considered by many as Phuket’s most popular spot because the waves are punchy, fast and often bigger, especially at the south and near the Kata Beach Resort. Which means when the surf is good, Kata is comparatively crowded by Phuket standards. Having said that, there is no shortage of take-off points along the 1.5-kilometre-long beach depending on sandbar positions, so there are usually enough good waves to go around.  There is also an annual Quicksilver contest. But best to avoid after heavy rains, as it gets polluted.

It is one of the relatively few places to rent boards or to receive surfing lessons in Phuket. Board rentals are abundant, but rates are seasonal. There is also the Phuket Surf House across from Kata Beach. Flowboarding can be a good tune up for veteran surfers, and a challenging training ground for ‘groms’.

Nearby Nai Han Beach handles a six-foot swell that can deliver up to eight-foot sets. It features a sharp peak breaking over shifting sandbars after storms, especially when the river mouth is clear to the Nai Han Lake. This delivers steep drops and short, fast lefts with barrels galore for goofy footers. Right sends surfers towards the rocks on the south end of Nai Han, and it is not advisable for beginners. At the north end are beach peaks and a right reef break in the corner, in front of a huge cliff hugging resort.

Also, a word to the wise: big waves at Nai Han means strong rip tides. So, tourists are advised to stay near local Thai and foreign resident surfers at Nai Han to correctly position themselves properly in the line-up.

In Northern Phuket, Kamala Beach’s sandbanks are stabilised by the reefs and attract less crowds than Kata. Waves break quite far outside and slow with bigger swells while inside there is a small surfable, but inconsistent point/reef break. Nearby Kalim offers a respite if the surf is too big elsewhere. Kalim is considered by many as one of the better breaks on Phuket, where a right-hand reef break unfolds over shallow coral offering a 50 to 100-metre-long ride that gets very shallow at the end, especially at low tide. Even when it sometimes gets crowded, it usually remains very friendly in the line-up.

In Phang Nga,  Khao Lak’s Pakarang Cape is one of the few mainland destinations in Thailand to have good surf after New Year, often well into January and February.

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This year Thailand’s fast growing local surfing communities will gather for six events in one series with the exciting launch of the Phuket Surf Series 2018+ Khao Lak. Five events are already being held in Phuket with the six in series scheduled later this year in Khao Lak, Phang Nga province from now until the end of October 2018. This will further reinforce the tourism image of Phuket province as a sports destination and generate surf-related tourism revenue for the country.

Surfing in Phuket and Khao Lak are not only about the waves; it is a lifestyle and culture all to itself. Surfers worldwide identify and meet to celebrate the sport and the friendship it brings at a grassroots level. This is very true of a growing surge in surf culture in Phuket, with more Thais in the water than ever before, with locals learning to love and appreciate the ocean lifestyle and all that Thailand’s beautiful sun kissed shores have to offer.

OTOP Fair 2018 showcases best local Thai products from around Thailand

The OTOP Fair 2018 is scheduled to dazzle those in attendance with creative Thai entrepreneurship from every province on full display in interactive product pavilions and events.

This year marks the seventh edition of the show, taking place from 11 to 19 August, from 10.00 – 21.00 Hrs., at Challenger Hall 1-3, IMPACT Arena, Exhibition and Convention Center.

‘One Tambon One Product’ (OTOP) is a grass roots government stimulus initiative to promote entrepreneurship by endorsing homemade local products from Thai tambons.

OTOP Fair 2018 features an exhibition zone to honour His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Queen Mother of Thailand and royal patron of Thai art and culture.

There is a ‘Highlight’ zone, spanning 2,500 square metres, including a 1,000-square-metre pavilion that showcases ‘starred OTOP products’ from over 100 villages.  Another 1,000-square-metre pavilion is dedicated to ‘OTOP Signature’ products from more than 40 additional provinces.

This sprawling zone also features a 250-square-metre pavilion with 12 booths showcasing textiles and products from villages surrounding the royal residences in four regions: the hand woven textile of Khao Tao village near the Klai Kangwon Palace, Prachuap Khiri Khan; the silk of Sakon Nakhon (Phu Phan Ratchaniwet Palace); the hand woven cloth of Chiang Mai (Bhubing Rajanives Palace); and the local textile of Krok Kae Village and the finest products handmade from  Yan Lipao (vine fern) and Krajood (straw reed) (Thaksin Ratchaniwet Palace).

*Some of the items available at the OTOP Fair 2018

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In addition, there is a 250-square-metre area with 16 booths, showcasing four types of Thai textiles, including cotton, silk, signature textiles from provinces across the country, and tribal costumes. Plus, there is also special booth providing dressmaking services and showcasing innovative basket and wickerwork production process.

Moreover, there are 2,000 additional booths selling items across a diverse spectrum of OTOP categories, as well as booths from the Ministry of Industry, the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre and the Disabilities Thailand.

Other OTOP Fair 2018 activities include a ‘Street Food’ zone with over 250 booths, daily live music and cultural performance in addition to games and lucky draws. Service zone offers health and spa services, wi-fi corner, mobile banking units, postal unit, kid’s corner and rest area serving tea and coffee from Thailand’s four regions.

New initiative against single-use plastics at Thailand’s national parks welcomed by TAT

Bangkok, 08 August, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has welcomed the latest initiative by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) to fight against plastic pollution. Starting from 12 August 2018, the DNP will encourage visitors to reduce consumption of single-use plastics at all 154 national parks in Thailand.

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Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “Thailand is blessed with a landscape abundant in natural beauty, and the importance of protecting this environment cannot be understated. As such, the TAT calls on all tourists local and international to say no to plastic bags and other single-use items. Opt instead for bags, utensils and drink bottles that can be used again and again.”

Nature is one of the key areas in the TAT’s ‘Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades’ communication concept, through which it is encouraging tourists to see the kingdom from new and existing perspectives. 

The DNP’s initiative covers plastic and foam bags, food containers, capped water bottles and utensils – essentially any item that is typically used one time and then thrown away.

The convenience of plastic bags and other such items is obvious, but these are harmful to the environment and much of what is discarded ends up in Thailand’s seas where it pollutes the water and kills marine life that either mistakes it for food or becomes tangled in it. Some plastics also pose danger to human health as they partially disintegrate.

The DNP in its fight against single-use plastics, with the support of organisations like the TAT, represents a move in the right direction to protect Thailand’s natural and scenic beauty now and in the future.

A series of banners, in Thai in the initial stage, has been produced to help spread awareness of the new initiative at the country’s national parks. These encourage people to think of the harm the plastic they throw away will do to the environment, and to instead act in an environment-friendly way.

The DNP estimates that its initiative will help reduce about three million items of plastic waste, and that at least 10 million people including the visitors, officials, shop owners, youths and the general public, will join its effort this year.

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