The festival began quietly on Tuesday night (Mar 28), with the grand opening ceremony led by
Phuket Town Mayor Saroj Angkhanapilas and Phuket Vice Governor Anupap Rodkwan Yodrabambam held at the event site at 7pm last night.
The annual event, this year marking the 25th edition of the food festival, is held each year to stimulate the local economy and distribute income among food vendors in town, and to promote tourism to the area, Phuket Town Deputy Mayor Prasit Sinsaowapak explained in the run-up to the festival last week.
Panachai Wasanarungruangsuk, President of Phuket City Municipality Food Traders Club, confirmed that this year the festival is hosting more food outlets “than ever before”.
A large variety of dishes is available at the festival, including sweet, savoury, beverages and seafood, Mr Panachai said.
“The highlight of this year’s event is that restaurants joining in the event will be serving new creative dishes that are unique to Phuket in order to strengthen Phuket’s reputation as a City of Gastronomy,” he said.
“We would like to invite all foodies and tourists, both Thai and foreign, to join the 25th Phuket Food Festival 2023,” he said.
Nattaya Prepas, secretary of the club, added that vendors at the festival, like all members of the club, will use environmentally friendly containers to serve food. Plastic and Styrofoam boxes will be banned in order to preserve the environment and reduce pollution, she said.
The Phuket Food Festival continues through to Monday night (Apr 3). The festival is open to visitors from 4pm to 11pm each day.
SOFT POWER GOES ON SHOW
The grand opening of the ‘25th Phuket Food Festival 2023’ last night coincided with the launch of a campaign yesterday led by Chanthana Sitthiphan, Director of the Phuket Provincial Cultural Office, under the Ministry of Culture, to promote Phuket’s ‘Soft Power’.
In line with the Phuket Food Festival underway, Ms Chanthana and the Phuket Culture Office is supporting a campaign to promote tourism, the local culture and way of life, and promoting local Phuket food as “Roy Phuket”, whereby “Roy” is the Southern Thai truncation of the Central Thai word “aroy”, meaning “tasty” or “delicious”.
The campaign launch was held in front of the Phuket Provincial Cultural Office in Phuket Town, and joined by Phuket Vice Governor Amnuay Pinsuwan and a host of other senior officials.
Ms Chanthana explained that the Phuket Cultural Office, under guidelines set out by the Ministry of Culture, is focussing on building international competitiveness and creating a new ‘BCG’ (Bio-Circular-Green) economic model through promoting the “soft power of Thainess to be known internationally”
“This will increase the value of the ‘5F creative economy’, namely food (Food), movies (Film), Thai fabrics and designs (Fashion), Muay Thai (Fighting), and the preservation of festivals while presenting them to the world (Festival),” she said.
Ms Chanthana highlighted Phuket Town being recognised as a ‘City of Gastronomy’ by UNESCO in 2015, at the time becoming the first city in Thailand, and Asean, to join 18 cities in the world recognised with the distinction.
“Phuket is renowned for its food, and unique and beautiful traditional costumes,” Ms Chanthana said.
In terms of culture, we can publish and exchange knowledge about our customs, which helps to instill a sense of pride in our valuable cultural heritage, which in turn attracts both Thai and foreign tourists,” she added.
To help spread the word about Phuket’s iconic culture, a host of representatives from the media are being taken on a familiarisation tour of the island today (Mar 30), Ms Chanthana said.
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