Kin kao laew reu young (‘Have You Eaten Rice Yet’)?: A New Perspective on Food and Tourism in Thailand

  • Tracy BernoEmail author
  • Glenn Dentice
  • Jutamas Jan Wisansing
Part of the Perspectives on Asian Tourism book series (PAT)


Asian countries have for many years used cuisine as a platform to differentiate and promote themselves as destinations by inviting tourists to consume and ‘taste’ local culture. One country that has been particularly successful in promoting its national cuisine is Thailand. This chapter considers how Thailand has positioned its national cuisine to create a culinary brand identity and considers how this has been used to promote and shape tourism. Focusing on the role of rice in Thai culture and society, it is argued that although Thailand has been highly successful in creating a strong cultural and culinary brand through its cuisine, there are further opportunities to enhance and deepen tourists’ experience and understanding of Thai culture though food. Specifically, to understand Thai culture through its cuisine, one needs to also understand (not just eat) rice. Recent Thai tourism campaigns that invite tourists to explore Thainess through rice are discussed.


Thai cuisine Rice tourism Creative tourism Gastrodiplomacy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy Berno
    • 1
    Email author
  • Glenn Dentice
    • 1
  • Jutamas Jan Wisansing
    • 2
  1. 1.AUT UniversityAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Perfect Link Consulting GroupNonthaburiThailand

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