M.A. (Cultural Management), Chulalongkorn University
Gastronomy is one of the elements incorporated within a new concept of cultural heritage and cultural tourism driven by growing trends of a desired healthy lifestyle, authenticity, environmental protection, and the need to for a high-quality experience. Tourists increasingly want foods that emphasize the heritage and culture of a place, which assists in the preservation of traditional forms of agriculture and cultural heritage.
Chiang Khan District, Loei Province, has various local dishes narrating their culture and traditional way of living. Moreover, today “new tourists” (Poon, 1994) are searching for the identity or the spirit of regions they visit. Local foods have always been crucial elements of place-based tourism. The concept of Slow Food has an intention of bringing back taste, tradition and experience to consumers’ food consumption, while at the same time aims to support small, local food producers and perhaps strengthen Chiang Khan District’s position in the tourism market, as opposed to international and industrial food producers. Slow food concept might potentially secure local employment and keep rural communities alive.
The study employed observations and interviews with Chiang Khan’s gastronomy from both local consumers and tourists. This study therefore aims to propose the concept of ‘slow food’ as one of the tools for promoting cultural tourism in Chiang Khan District, Loei Province, in the future.
(Presented in the International Conference – Thai Food Heritage: Local to Global, 4-6 August 2009, Tawana Bangkok Hotel, Bangkok, organized by The Project of Empowering Network for International Thai Studies (ENITS), Institute of Thai Studies, Chulalongkorn University with support from the Thailand Research Fund (TRF))