Thailand plans to attract film industry as part of new tourism drive

As part of a new tourism drive, the Thai government is planning to attract more movie-makers to the country. Thailand’s Department of Tourism recently launched the fifth Thailand International Film Destination Festival 2017 (TIFDF 2017), aimed at promoting the country as an international film destination.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Fascinating Destination,’ which focuses on promoting the eight tourism ‘clusters’ in Thailand among international filmmakers. This will be achieved through a series of activities, including a short film competition for international students and cinema screenings of famous films shot in Thailand.

“We (Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism & Sports) have tourism strategies which aim to generate income for the country, bring income to communities, improve the quality of life for Thai people and add value to Thailand’s tourism,” said Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Government of Thailand.

“We have many beautiful destinations in Thailand and the international film industry is directly linked to Thailand’s tourism. This not only brings in a large amount of money to our country but also helps promote Thailand’s beautiful destinations internationally. TIFDF 2017 aims to attract those in the film industry to shoot films in Thailand,” the Minister added.

In 2016, more than 700 foreign films were shot in Thailand that generated $67.5 million in revenues for the country. This total has increased 14% in the first five months of 2017 in terms of movies filmed and 65% in terms of revenue generated.

Thailand has a long history of hosting international film-makers, with some of the famous movies shot there include the ‘The Deer Hunter,’ ‘Air America,’ ‘The Beach’ and the James Bond film ‘The Man with the Golden Gun,’ which led to a limestone islet in Phang-Nga Bay being nicknamed ‘James Bond Island.’