Ministry seeks Bt100-million budget to hire Lalisa, others for grand NY countdown


The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is planning to ask the Cabinet to approve a budget of around Bt100 million to hire celebrities to grace the New Year Countdown 2022 event, Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday.

“Among those who will be invited are Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban, the only Thai member of K-pop band BlackPink, and world class opera singer Andrea Bocelli,” said Anutin, who is also the Public Health Minister.

“Details are yet to be discussed with Tourism Minister [Pipat Ratchakitprakarn], but the government will try to use the budget as efficiently and as transparently as possible.”

Earlier this month, Federation of Thai Industries president Suphan Mongkolsutee had suggested that Thailand should cash in on the soft power of stars like Lalisa to promote tourism, after her first solo single won a record-breaking 73.6 million views in 24 hours when it was released on YouTube on September 10.

In a separate topic, Anutin said the Public Health Ministry had increased the number of vaccines provided to Southern provinces in the past two weeks, especially those that reported high infections, such as Nakhon Si Thammarat.

“As more people in the South have been vaccinated, from this week we should see a declining number of daily infections and deaths,” he added.

As of October 23, precisely 39.8 million people, or 55.4 per cent of the Thai population, have been given one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, while 28.2 million, or 39.3 per cent, have been fully jabbed. Meanwhile, 2.9 per cent, or 2.12 million people, have received a third dose as a booster shot to increase their immunity.