Tourism-promoting ogre characters have taken to the skies to not only encourage Thai people to tour their motherland but also inspire foreigners to visit the country.
Disputes whether it was appropriate to show the ogres, or yak in Thai, travelling in a van and on a multi-rider bicycle or cooking coconut cream cakes, were now irrelevant as the characters were already put on an airplane that will fly internationally to woo foreign travellers, albeit as the livery.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) commissioned AirAsia to paint the picture of the famous guardian ogres of Bangkok’s Wat Phra Chetuphon as the livery of one of its A320-200 airplanes.
The “Yak-Cute” picture portrayed Thai people’s happiness and friendliness and invited foreigners to visit the country, TAT deputy governor Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhaya said.
The design by Cherdsak Moeikhanmak won the recent “Paint the Sky with Amazing Thailand” contest which drew more than 200 entries.
Thai AirAsia chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld said the plane would fly on about 70 domestic and international routes for the tourism-promotion purpose.
Last month, some high-ranking officials raised eyebrows after a video clip promoting Thai tourism using the ogre king Thotsakan as the presenter doing touristy activities.
They viewed putting the sacred ogre to such tasks was inappropriate. The younger generation did not agree but the producer, saying it lacked the means to fight the authorities, deleted about 20% of the original footage, which previously featured Thotsakan in “mundane” scenes such as, taking selfies, racing go-karts, riding banana boats, and making coconut cream cakes, kanom krok.