PATTAYA, 14 June 2018: Thailand Travel Mart opens on a fruity note for international buyers who are being encouraged to literally taste what TAT calls “fruit buffet tours” that visit the orchards of the three east coast provinces, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat.
The provinces are already recognised for their fruit exports to Asian markets, but they also have a lucrative business offering fruit tasting sessions that appeal to Thai tourists during the fruit gathering season April to the end of July.
During annual rainy season, which is also the main picking time for orchards, TAT reports there are 31 orchards in Rayong, 25 in Chanthaburi and seven in Trat that are offering fruit buffet tours.
As foodie tourism grows in popularity, the fruit tasting tours of the east coast orchards could become as popular as wine tasting holidays that appeal to food connoisseurs from around the world.
They could be promoted alongside cooking classes that focus on the distinct dishes of the east coast region especially dishes that use fruit as a key ingredient.
The Thai government is backing efforts to turn eastern seaboard provinces into a “fruit hub” for exports and also tourism related programmes as outlined in its Eastern Fruit Corridor Project.
According to TAT, a feasibility study will be concluded this September, including public forums to sound out the opinion of stakeholders. A survey on investor interest in the project will be carried out between October and December. Construction of related systems will begin in 2019 and the Eastern Fruit Corridor Project should be fully up and running by 2020.
In the meantime the lush orchards of the east coast are enjoying a lucrative trade welcoming fruit tasting tours that start early in the day with fruit freshly picked from the trees followed by heritage travel experiences and concluding at sunset with poolside ‘smoothies’ at a luxury resort overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.