Lisa, Bocelli asked to join Thai countdowns

B200m budget set aside for appearances at Phuket, Bangkok events

Thai-born rapper Lalisa Manoban (left) and Italian opera tenor Andrea Bocelli are being asked by the Tourism and Sports Ministry to join the New Year countdowns in Thailand, says minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn. (Image captured from 'LaLisa' music video and Reuters photo)

Thailand has planned to spend 200 million baht to ask Thai-born Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban of the Korea-based Blackpink girl group and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli to join New Year countdowns in Phuket and Bangkok to help promote tourism.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told the Inside Thailand news programme on Thursday that a Thai agency was acting as the coordinator for the appearances of the two artists.

He did not give the breakdown of the budget but said the amount for Bocelli was slightly higher.

The confirmation followed the worldwide success of Lisa’s solo debut LaLisa, which attracted millions of views hours after its debut on YouTube. It later officially took the Guinness World Record title for the most viewed YouTube music video by a solo artist in 24 hours with 73.6 million views. It logged almost 270 million views on Thursday, 34 days after the launch. 

If the deal is successful, Mr Phiphat said Lisa would be asked to join the countdown in Phuket. The event will be held on Sarasin Bridge connecting the resort island with Phangnga province so people in both places can easily join, he added.

Bocelli will perform in Bangkok but the place has not yet been finalised, he said.

“We may ask City Hall if it’s possible to hold the event at Sanam Laung with the Grand Palace as the background. We think it will look magnificent,” Mr Phiphat said.

The budget for organising the two events will be around 400-500 million baht and the private sector can join as sponsors.

Mr Phiphat said Lisa was invited because she inspired young people. “She has proved she could rise to fame by taking the right path, without involvement in drugs."

The events aim to attract both Thais and foreigners to celebrate the reopening of Thailand after New Year countdowns were cancelled for two consecutive years due to Covid-19, the minister from the Bhumjaithai Party said.

“We also hope to attract more visitors from Asean countries since we believe Lisa has a large fan club there,” he added.

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