Bangkok, March 27, 2011 — The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is continuing to promote the country as Asia’s leading shooting location as well as maintaining the momentum of filmmaking activities by inviting 23 foreign film industry leaders to visit Thailand. They will explore potential filming locations and facilities in the country’s central, northern and southern regions. TAT wants to ensure the film directors are familiar with the variety of landscapes Thailand offers and the comprehensive support infrastructure available for movie production.
Film directors from China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Sweden, the United States and Vietnam will spend the week of 27 March 27 to 3 April 2011 travelling from northern to southern Thailand. They will observe the country’s culture and lifestyles along with natural attractions; such as, mountains, beaches and islands. The film directors will also visit support infrastructure including lab facilities, recording studios and other service providers. A highlight of their trip will be a meeting with leading Thai film directors.
In 2010, the number of foreign film productions in Thailand grew by 16% while the value of these productions grew by 108%. A total of 578 foreign film crews shooting feature films, television series, documentaries, advertisements and music videos were on location in Thailand, generating revenue of about US$ 62 million (approx. 1.87 billion Thai Baht).
“While we reach millions of potential visitors through our regular marketing campaigns, films are a great way to highlight Thailand’s natural beauty and attractions. They can generate great interest in Thailand, with lasting memories related to these films. This strengthens the Thailand brand and encourages people to make their first visit, or come back again,” said TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni.
Among the hundreds of crews that filmed in the country last year, Thailand welcomed teams for Hollywood productions of “Mission Impossible” and “The Scorpion King 3.” In addition, to its natural attractions and varied landscapes, Thailand has the advantage of a solid infrastructure for both pre- and post-production including skilled people for audio visual effects, advanced equipment and qualified workers, as well as tremendous value for money. Domestic film and digital production in Thailand are also expanding under the Government’s drive to develop a creative economy.
The Thai government has increased its support for the film sector. In November 2010, the Thai Cabinet agreed to waive fees for shooting permits on government-owned properties including national parks supervised by the Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department; along with properties under the Royal Forestry Department, Royal Irrigation Department, Fine Arts Department, Treasury Department, State Railway of Thailand, and Suvarnabhumi International Airport. This fee waiver will remain in effect until the end of December 2011, except for national parks, for which the fee waiver policy will expire on 1 December, 2011.
In 2011, TAT expects to maintain 9% growth in income from foreign tourists, with the number of international arrivals expected to reach 16.5 million by the end of this year. With Thailand’s strong domestic and international appeal as a filming destination, the country should remain at the forefront in this region.
Tourism Authority of Thailand