Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has praised K-pop singer Lalisa "Lisa" Manoban, a member of the K-Pop group Blackpink, for promoting Thailand and helping to increase the value of the country's economy.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri on Saturday said the premier admired Lisa for expressing her pride at having been born Thai, by wearing traditional Thai clothes and talking about Thainess in her various shows and public activities.
Lisa recently posted pictures of herself and her friends wearing a Thai-style short-sleeve blouse and an indigo-dyed, mud-fermented cotton sarong with Naga patterning in Ayutthaya after finishing a concert there.
Her photos have sparked a trend among her fans of paying close attention to Thai traditional clothes and sharing tourist sites and cultures all over the world. When Lisa pays a visit, local economies get a boost, noted the spokesman.
Lisa's style of expression serves as a form of soft power that helps spur the economy, he said.
The government has stressed the importance of promoting Thailand in new ways with the state, private and civil society sectors working together to achieve sustainable goals, Mr Anucha said.
Lisa: Example of 'soft power'
"The cotton sarong with Naga patterning that Lisa wore is an iconic pattern in the northeastern region and is a well-known handicraft product from Udon Thani.
Lisa serves as a role model for the young generation and is helping to share Thai culture by wearing traditional clothes," he said.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand also invited tourists who have an interest in following in her footsteps to travel to the three ancient temples she visited -- Wat Na Phra Men, Wat Mahathat and Wat Maenangpleum -- in Ayutthaya, he said.