Bangkok celebrated Pride Month with colourful rainbow decorations while encouraging gay tourists to visit the country hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A long rainbow decal was placed along the tunnel of a train station in Samyan, Pathum Wan District to show solidarity to the LGBTQ+ community on Monday (June 7).
The tunnel which connects commercial businesses to main roads near Chulalongkorn University bears messages of acceptance such as ‘love yourself’ and ‘pride’.
Tthe Tourism Authority of Thailand said they choses the tunnel for the rainbow decoration as youngsters often use the area to pose for selfies to post on social media.
The agency also launched their campaign ‘Go Thai, Be Free’ to encourage international gay travellers to visit the country.
An officer from the Tourism Authority of Thailand said: ‘We believe that diversity is amazing. As the most LGBTQ+ welcoming country in Asia, we’re proud that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community – and all people – no matter how they identify and whom they love, feel free when travelling in Thailand on vacation or holiday.’
Bangkok was ranked the second-most LGBT-friendly city in Asia after Tel Aviv in Israel in 2017.
In the United States, the gay pride month is being held in the month of June in memory of the Stonewall riots which were a series of demonstrations by members of the gay community in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 in the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York City.
Economists fear that it could be up to five years before Thailand’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels. Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen. Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.