Ministries to promote film spots
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Ministries to promote film spots

Eye B7.5bn from foreign companies

Maya Bay, a location of
Maya Bay, a location of "The Beach", in Krabi province (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Tourism and Sports Ministry has joined hands with the Culture Ministry to promote Thailand's film locations in a bid to achieve 7.5 billion baht in earnings from foreign film companies choosing to shoot their films in the country this year.

The ministries jointly released a statement about Thailand's success in being chosen as the locations of many foreign films, which staff are promoting at Thailand's booth at this year's Cannes Film Festival in France.

Arrun Boonchai, permanent secretary of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, said successive governments have actively promoted the Thai film industry, with the current government led by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin regarding films as a form of soft power and a way to boost the tourism industry.

He added that Thailand is attracting the attention of filmmakers worldwide due to its popular and world-class tourist attractions, with many foreign films, TV shows and documentaries being shot here in recent years.

Mr Arrun said foreign film-making companies are interested in the benefits which Thailand is offering them, including 15% refund ("cashback") on production costs incurred in this country.

The percentage of the cashback has increased to as much as 20% recently, he said.

Such benefits have resulted in growth in the film-making industry, with its economic value rising from €80 million, or 3.1 billion baht in 2017, to €176 million, or 6.7 billion baht last year, said Mr Arrun. He expects the number will increase by 10% before much longer.

"This is a result of the success of attractive measures that are clear, legitimate and reliable as they have been able to attract investment from giant film projects to Thailand, where these films were shot.

"This has led to employment by downstream businesses and distribution of earnings to them. It has also promoted tourism at film locations which are based in communities and less visited areas," Mr Arrun said.

He also mentioned films with investments of over €10 million (almost 400 million baht) and various filming locations in Thailand, including The Meg 2; The Creator, which was nominated for Oscar last year; and The White Lotus Season 3, which is currently in production and will feature Thai K-pop artist Lalisa "Lisa" Manoban.

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