The plan to attract international film crews is one of the tactics being used to mitigate the economic fallout created by the pandemic.
“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown,” said Anant Wongbenjarat, director-general of the Tourism Department.
Following the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA) decision to grant special entry permission to film crews in August last year, 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing B1.14bn to the economy.
“Film crews are among groups of special tourists that can enter the country,” Mr Anant said. “It is important to bring more of them to generate income for the local economy after facing a heavy tourism slump.”
The department plans to woo film production projects that intend to spend over B100mn, featuring well-known directors or featuring A-list actors.
According to the Tourism Department, Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating B1.73bn for the local economy.
The majority came from China, followed by India, the UK, the US and South Korea.
This month, four more film production projects are underway, forecast to generate B186mn. This brings the total to 57 projects, according to Mr Anant.
Of these, 49 film production crews have already finished their production work in the country, while the 13 film crews filming have completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Another 89 film crews are presently undergoing quarantine.
Another 136 film crews from nine productions, accounting for a combined budget of B850mn, have sought to film in Thailand during the first half of this year, which would help create 800 jobs for locals.