Thai Culture creates Value Added for Thai Culinary Tourism
The objective of this study is to assess foreign food tourists’ behavior and level of satisfaction with Thai culinary schools located in Chiang Mai, Thailand and to determine how the incorporation of Thai culture in this course can create added value for culinary tourism. This research uses a mixed methodology. For the quantitative part, questionnaires were collected from 400 foreign tourists. The qualitative aspect of the research involves interviews with 26 culinary school entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai. The results indicate that most of the respondents took half a day class of Thai cooking with the objective of being able to cook Thai food back home. Some foreign tourists also took fruit and vegetable carving classes. The satisfaction level was at the highest level with respect to place, course, personnel, fees and distribution channel, and slightly lower for promotion. The interviews reveal that Thai culinary tourism is highly competitive hence the need to create added value in the form of Thai culture classes incorporated into the culinary lessons, something which some of the schools are already doing to some extent and which tourists are receptive to.