It seems that some enterprising groups think that they can turn a profit from the “official mourning” for the dead king. One of these groups is the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, working with tourism businesses.
According to TTGAsia the Ministry “plans to turn the Kingdom’s sorrow into a world record event during the 2017 New Year countdown.” The report states:
Conventional countdown activities will be replaced nationwide by religious and praying ceremonies to mark the New Year with at least 20 million participants expected. While such events aren’t new, there is greater impetus now to hold prayer gatherings rather than parties. About 10 million people took part in such sessions last year.
Tourism and sports minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul says that the new year “countdown events at main tourism locations will be proper, grand and beautiful.” She reckons that tourists will flock to these events.
Quite rightly but disparately she says “that life goes on for people despite the country’s loss.”
Tourism is the junta’s one really bright economic sectors and remains critical. It seems that “activities and events should run as usual, albeit with tweaks.”
As anyone who has been to, say, Phuket, tourists continue to arrive as normal and nothing much seems to have changed.