Phuket City, Thailand, is poised to become the epicenter of culinary dialogue as it gears up to host the inaugural UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy Annual Conference in 2024. Spearheaded by Mr. Saroj Angkanapilas, Mayor of Phuket City, the announcement of Phuket’s hosting duties was made during a prestigious press conference held at the renowned Blue Elephant Restaurant, one of the best luxury restaurants in Phuket. The event attracted a diverse array of dignitaries, including Ms. Onpailin Pariphon, Deputy Mayor of Phuket City, Mr. Wannarat Pruekprathin, Chairman of the Phuket City Council, Mr. Chalermphon Piyanarongroj, Permanent Secretary of Phuket City Municipality, Ms. Yanisa Buaket, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Phuket City Municipality, and representatives from both government and private sectors.


Mayor Angkanapilas expressed profound gratitude for the collaborative efforts of all network partners in preparing for the conference, underscoring the readiness of Phuket Province to welcome delegates from around the globe. The proposed meeting dates, slated between 10th to 12th May 2024, have been communicated, with an online meeting scheduled with UNESCO last 22nd November 2023, to further solidify the details. The format for the conference has already been submitted to UNESCO for consideration, with an official press release pending confirmation of location, date, time, and format.

This significant milestone for Phuket City culminates years of dedication to culinary excellence and cultural preservation. Designated as a ‘City of Gastronomy’ under UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in 2015, Phuket emerged as the first city in Thailand and ASEAN to attain this prestigious recognition. The journey towards hosting the conference began with Phuket City Municipality’s successful bid over 49 member cities from 30 countries, triumphing over formidable competitors like Shunde District in Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China, and Buraydah in Saudi Arabia.

Related article: 6 Cultural Attractions in Phuket You Should Not Miss

The selection underscored the collaborative spirit exemplified by Mayor Angkanapilas and his team, alongside stakeholders from the Southern Region branch of the Thailand Exhibition and Convention Bureau (TCEB), government bodies, and the private sector. Through joint planning, content creation, and showcasing Phuket’s potential as a creative city in the realm of gastronomy, the winning bid highlighted Phuket’s identity as a culinary hub on the global stage.

Photo: Michelin Guide

As the city of Phuket prepares to welcome delegates from around the world, the significance of this conference extends beyond mere culinary discourse. It symbolizes a commitment to cultural exchange and global cooperation, amplifying Phuket’s influence as a beacon of gastronomic innovation. With anticipation building and preparations underway, Phuket’s hosting of the UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy Annual Conference stands as a testament to the city’s unwavering dedication to culinary excellence and cultural diplomacy.

Featured Image: Eater