CREATIVE TOURISM ROUTE THROUGH FISH MATERIAL OF LOCAL FOOD PRODUCTS IN WESTERN OF THAILAND
The research on creative tourism route through fish material of local food products in western of Thailand aims to explore the potential of tourism attractions related to food learning in western and also survey tourism information for learning of Thai food in 8 western provinces consisting of Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Suphan Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon, to design the effective tourism route for food learning. The methodology applied for this research are qualitative and quantitative methods; studying secondary data of local food and interviewing with local gurus on food and lifestyle aspects and field survey of area and tourist attractions having uniqueness in terms of food culture, tradition and indigenous knowledge related to food, based on the concept of conservative agro-tourism, community-based tourism and sustainable tourism development.
The analysis results from secondary data and field survey represented the identity and uniqueness of each studied area that were later used as tourist attractions and the food culture identity in western could be separated into 2 parts; 1. Coastal provinces : Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan mainly utilizing seafood materials, and 2. Non-coastal provinces; Ratchaburi, Karnchanaburi, Suphan Buri and Nakhon Pathom mainly utilizing food materials from rivers, mountains and agricultural areas. After determining the food identity and uniqueness together with the tourist attractions, both were connected with the existing tourist attractions in each area and then the area-based tourism routes for food learning was designed before conducting potential evaluation of the tourist attractions. The findings revealed that the attractive tourism route for food learning with commercial potential could be divided into 3 routes; “Salt Route”, “Jaggery Route” and “Fish Route”.
Subsequently, the travel itinerary was designed as an example for those 3 tourism routes for food learning in order to introduce to an individual tourist in a form of two days’ trip expected to be potentially commercial for applying as a new tourism model of western provinces. This model will suit for FIT tourists and tourists with interest in food learning in a form of “Travel, Taste and Learn”. However, all data gained above are required to be further improved in various aspects so as to be applicable and support for undertaking works of the Tourism Authority of Thailand or TAT in each area to further develop the tourism model for food learning.