Hotels boss backs Lisa gig
Star 'will attract thousands to Phuket'
The invitation to bring K-pop sensation Lalisa "Lisa" Manoban of Blackpink to the New Year celebration in Phuket is worth the investment to help promote tourism, a senior Thai Hotels Association official said on Wednesday.
Besides Lisa, the Tourism and Sports Ministry has also hired Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli to perform at the countdown event in Phuket and their bookings have already been confirmed, said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of the association's southern chapter.
"I think spending 200-300 million baht to hire Lisa is worth the investment as it will attract thousands of Thai and international tourists who will each spend at least 20,000-30,000 baht in Phuket and spur the economy," he said.
The event was originally planned to take place at Sarasin Bridge, but because the venue was small, a larger place that can accommodate up to 20,000 people will be chosen instead, he added.
He also said that around 1,200 hotels in Phuket have said they would have up to 70,000 rooms ready for visitors when the government's tourism reopening plan kicks off on Monday.
Due to the easing of measures in Phuket, about 300,000 tourists, including day-trippers, were expected in October and about 400,000 next month, he added.
Previously, about 40,000 tourists would visit Phuket each day, compared with the current 700 foreign visitors under its sandbox scheme.
In Chiang Mai, provincial governor Prachon Pratsakul expressed his readiness to launch pilot projects in four districts to welcome international tourists from 46 low-risk countries on Nov 1. The districts are Muang, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and Doi Tao.
Mr Prachon said the province has stepped up efforts to combat Covid-19 and 1,082 Safety and Health Administration (SHA)-certified businesses in the hospitality sector were ready to reopen, together with 215 hotels that passed SHA-plus certification. Only 58.4% of the population has received a first vaccine dose, so the province will expedite efforts to reach the 70% goal by next Monday, he added.
The infection rate in Chiang Mai is decreasing with only 270 new cases recorded on Wednesday.