Business leaders: forget Tuk-Tuks, Lisa should be new Thai emblem

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) urged the Thai government on Monday to appoint BLACKPINK’s Lisa to be a tourism ambassador to boost the stagnant tourism industry once borders reopen to vaccinated arrivals next month.

“The government should first negotiate with Lisa’s agency,” said FTI Chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree. “If successful, this will be extremely advantageous to Thailand.”

Lisa, or Lalisa Manoban, is the only Thai member of the prominent South Korean girl group, BLACKPINK, under YG Entertainment. Other three members are Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé.

“Thailand has strengths in culture and tourism, but the potential to utilize them to create additional value in the industrial sector is still limited,” said Supant. 

Rida Srilomsak, head of creative handicraft at FTI, said the past attempts such as presenting Tuk-Tuks, the Thai-style three-wheeled taxis, were not on point. “It doesn’t help to promote Thai handicraft products,” she said.

“The authorities must adopt new ideas in order to be more modern, with support from digital technology,” Rida noted. 

Earlier, the premier Prayut Chan-ocha had praised Lisa and her production team for integrating Thai cultural elements into her solo debut music video, adding that it will boost the economy through “soft power.” Lisa was wearing a golden Thai traditional dress and an ornamental headpiece in honor of her Thai heritage.

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