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Thailand Promotes Itself as Prime Film Location to Boost Economy

The Tourism and Sports Ministry, in collaboration with the Culture Ministry, aims to generate 7.5 billion baht this year by positioning Thailand as a prime location for international film productions. This initiative was prominently highlighted at the Cannes Film Festival in France, showcasing Thailand’s recent successes in attracting foreign film projects.

On May 14, 2024, Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports Arrun Boonchai stated that various government units have consistently worked to enhance the Thai film industry, viewing it as a strategic means to boost the tourism sector. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin also considers cinema a vital tool for cultural diplomacy and economic stimulation.

Arrun emphasized that Thailand’s appeal to filmmakers stems from its renowned tourist destinations, which have served as backdrops for numerous international film and TV productions in recent years. To further attract these productions, Thailand offers financial incentives, including a 15% cashback on production costs, recently increased to 20%. This increase has contributed to the economic growth of Thailand’s film industry, which has risen from approximately 3.1 billion baht in 2017 to about 6.7 billion baht in the previous year.

The broader economic benefits of these incentives include job creation in related industries and increased tourism in lesser-known locations due to their exposure in films. Notable films shot in Thailand include “The Meg 2,” “The Creator,” and “The White Lotus,” featuring Thai K-pop star Lalisa Manoban.

The initiative is supported by efforts from various government units and the participation of key stakeholders. The success at Cannes underscores the potential for further growth in Thailand’s film industry, reinforcing the country’s reputation as a desirable destination for international filmmakers.

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