12 July 2024

The 200-million-baht price tag for the appearances of Thai-born rapper Lalisa Manoban, commonly known as “Lisa”, of South Korea’s girl group “BLACKPINK” and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, at the New Year countdowns in Phuket and Bangkok respectively, is worth the money, according to Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) Secretary-General Adit Chairattananont.

“Suppose Lisa’s appearance attracts a million foreign tourists into Thailand and each of them spends an average of 75,000 baht, this will translate into 75 billion baht in foreign exchange,” said Adit, adding that it is a very rare occasion that a Thai-born artist has shot to worldwide fame with just one music video reflecting the Thai identity.

Lisa’s solo debut mini-album “LALISA” attracted 73.6 million views in 24 hours, winning a Guinness World Record title for YouTube views.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said that Andrea Bocelli’s appearance fee will be a bit higher than Lisa’s. The overall expenses for organising the events in Bangkok and Phuket are estimated at between 400-500 million baht, including the 200-million-baht appearance fees, which will be drawn from the state’s budget with the rest being borne by supporters in the private sector.

Seri Ruam Thai party-list MP Dr. Rewat Visarutvej, however, voiced his disagreement with the use of taxpayers’ money to boost tourism, saying that the better way to build confidence in Thailand among foreigners is to have most of the Thai population vaccinated and easy access to COVID-19 tests.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang said today he could not yet confirm whether a New Year countdown could be held in Bangkok, adding that he will have to consult the Ministry of Public Health.