Food tourism on the menu

HO CHI MINH CITY, 4 May 2017: Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Tourism will focus on developing food tourism to increase product diversity.

The department’s deputy director, La Quoc Khanh, said the city considers food a product that needs to be developed to turn tourism into a key economic driver across the country with benefits for smaller companies and enterprises in the hospitality business.

“The department will form food streets to serve tourists, by improving the quality of food service and products,” he said.

The city has held a series of events annually such as a food festival, featuring dishes from countries around world and a southern fruit festival.

Experts advised that to develop the segment the country should establish more night markets and food zones grouped by the cuisine they specialise in such as Chinese, Vietnamese or specific food from northern, central or southern regions.

Ho Chi Minh City targets 6 million international visitors in 2017. The city welcomed more than 5.2 million foreign tourists last year, a rise of 10% against 2015.

Thailand  has a strong emphasis on street food as illustrated in the recent decision to produce the first Michelin Guide Bangkok, this December. It should boost the country’s food tourism, while adding value for Thai restaurants that are awarded Michelin stars.

Once launched, Thailand will become the sixth country in Asia to have Michelin Guides following China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.