Of the three such seminars, one was held at the Phuket Merlin Hotel in Phuket Town yesterday (May 23), organised by the Prince of Songkla University Phuket campus and opened by Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Jirapan Teapan.
Pan Tongcheumneung, Dean of the PSU Phuket campus Faculty of Technology and Environment, explained simply, “Making sure you store and prepare food clean and safely is very important. It reduces the risk of illness from food or unhygienic practices, and it also increases your business’s competitiveness.”
Dr Jirapan in his opening address, explained, “It is important for you to understand the importance of cooking food using clean and safe practices, and to good quality.
“This is for your own benefit. This seminar also gives you to exchange ideas in your expertise as food vendors.”
The seminars have been held with three main aims: to specifically educate all vendors of food in Phuket on what the Unesco “City of Gastronomy” status means; to teach the importance of hygiene; and to give tips on improving the quality of dishes food vendors serve.
Attendees who pass a test conducted at the end of the seminar are given a certificate issued by the PPHO which is valid for three years.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s strategy to promote gastronomy tourism will take a huge step forward with the 4th UNWTO World Gastronomy Forum to be held in Bangkok Wednesday through Friday next week (May 30-June 1).
It is the first time the event will be held in Asia.
Organised annually by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Centre, the event is being supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports with more than 567 delegates registered to attend (as of May 18).
This fourth edition will specifically focus on harnessing the power of technology as a driver for sustainable growth. The event will include a symposium, workshops and seminars in which leading experts in gastronomy tourism will discuss current trends and challenges in the sector, exchange best practices and inspire discussion on intercultural dialogue, gastro diplomacy, and the importance of technology for sustainable gastronomy tourism.
“This is going to be a landmark event in the annals of Thai and Asia-Pacific tourism. We will take full advantage of this gathering of leading experts in the field of gastronomy tourism to strengthen the connections between Thailand’s two bedrock industries, agriculture and travel and tourism,” said Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat in a release issued yesterday.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, “TAT has made gastronomy tourism an important part of its marketing strategy under the Thailand 4.0 socio-economic development plan.”
“Thai cuisine is famous all over the world. It is rare a major city in the world that does not boast a Thai restaurant, be it in the form of fine-dining or takeaway. All our culinary delights have their roots in Thai agriculture, which was our bedrock source of economic livelihood well before tourism. Now, the Royal Thai Government is more firmly linking both.”