Buri Ram banks on K-pop star’s appeal

Written by ayunda · 1 min read >
Phanom Rung Historical Park, a major tourist magnet in Buri Ram Province.

Phanom Rung Historical Park, a major tourist magnet in Buri Ram Province.

Buri Ram tourism authorities expect K-pop star Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban, a member of Blackpink, to receive a windfall that will boost domestic tourism demand in the fourth quarter.

Ratpacha Teerapattharakit, president of the Buri Ram Tourism Association, said tourism in the province benefited directly from Lisa’s first solo music video showing Phanom Rung Historical Park in her hometown.

In addition to the traditional Thai headgear, which has already gone viral, the “standing meatball” shops where customers have to stand to eat at the Buri Ram train station have become very popular with the locals after Lisa mentioned them Want to eat street food when she gets home.

Ms. Ratpacha said there have been many inquiries about Lisa-inspired tour packages -based tourism to attract visitors.

“We assume that Phanom Rung will be overcrowded with locals dressed like Lisa, as happened a few years ago with a Thai drama in Ayutthaya that drove up tourism revenues there,” she said .

After the Covid measures were eased on September 1, occupancy of 800 hotels with 4,000 rooms in the province began to increase, reaching 60% on weekends and 40% on weekdays in the single digits, Ms. Ratpacha said.

She said soccer tournaments, which are allowed again this month with limited audiences and soccer players in quarantine, can help fulfill hotel bookings on weekdays. The province usually hosts a MotoGP race in October, the biggest tourist attraction of the year.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Buri Ram welcomed 2.33 million travelers in 2019 – 2.25 million locals and 77,874 from abroad. The number of tourists last year was 960,463, including 951,939 Thais and 8,524 foreigners.

Ms. Ratpacha said apart from international sporting events like MotoGP, it is difficult to promote tourism in Buri Ram. The positive impact of Lisa’s music video will help the province become a choice for the local market, she said. Two tourist stimulus programs could start in October, including the hotel subsidy program “We Travel Together”, which could increase hotel occupancy to 70% in the fourth quarter, said Ms. Ratpacha.