The president of the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter is backing the government’s decision to spend millions of baht on Phuket’s end-of-year festivities. Officials have confirmed that K-Pop star Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform in Phuket on New Year’s Eve.
Critics have derided the plan due to the cost involved, with many suggesting the money be spent on helping those affected by the financial fallout of Covid-19. However, Kongsak Khoopongsakorn from the THA is looking at it another way.
“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.”
According to the Bangkok Post, the New Year’s Eve celebration was originally going to be held at Sarasin Bridge, the main gateway onto the island for those travelling by road from the mainland. However, it’s understood that plan has been ditched in favour of securing a larger venue that can hold up to 20,000 people. Meanwhile, Kongsak says around 1,200 of Phuket’s hotels have up to 70,000 rooms ready for tourists when the country re-opens on Monday.
In related news, the governor of Chiang Mai says the province is ready to welcome foreign tourists to 4 districts in the northern province. Prachon Pratsakul says the districts of Muang, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and Doi Tao will launch pilot re-openings to vaccinated tourists from the government’s list of 46 low-risk countries.
According to Prachon, provincial officials are ramping up Covid-19 prevention measures, including the rollout of vaccines. Around 58.4% of residents have received their first dose and Prachon says this should increase to 70% by Monday. Infections in Chiang Mai are falling, with just 270 new cases reported yesterday. Over 1,000 hospitality businesses are now SHA-accredited, while 215 hotels have been granted SHA-Plus status.
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SOURCE: Bangkok Post