Thailand eyes food trucks as new tourist attraction

Food truck culture can boost interactions with tourists as well as create cooperation opportunities. PHOTO: THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BANGKOK - Thailand’s Department of Business Development (DBD) is eyeing a new tourism trend – food trucks.

DBD director-general Thosapone Dansuputra said food trucks can be seen as “destinations” that stimulate the economy and boost awareness of Thai cuisine.

“Food trucks may encourage tourists to visit Thailand just to taste food or beverages that cannot be found anywhere else,” he said.

Mr Dansuputra added that the food truck culture will also boost interactions between Thais and foreigners, as well as create cooperation opportunities.

Many Thais and foreigners showed interest in DBD’s event promoting food trucks and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at Bangkok’s IconSiam shopping complex from Feb 22 to Feb 26, he said.

The five-day event generated 3 million baht (S$117,000) in revenue.

DBD also cooperated with financial institutions like Krungthai Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, Government Savings Bank, TMBThanachart Bank and UOB, to provide advice on requesting loans, said Mr Dansuputra.

“This move was aimed at making it easier for SMEs to gain loans,” he said, adding that some had already applied for loans at a special interest rate to expand their businesses.

Ms Nawarat Mingchareonsuk, the operator of Food Truck Team Chang, said DBD’s event helped expand the market for food truck operators and also helped them witness consumer behaviour.

This way, she said, they can improve their products to meet demands.

“Many Thais and foreigners enjoy buying food and beverages from food trucks and street vendors,” she said.

Ms Mingchareonsuk also expressed confidence that the food truck business will flourish, especially since it is being highlighted in tour programmes. THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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