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Tourism Dept expects major income boost from 'Thailand

The Tourism Department targets revenue of Bt2.5 billion from foreign movies being shot in the Kingdom this year, boosted by the second "Thailand International Film Destination Festival", which takes place from April 20-29.

The theme of the festival is "Thailand - Take Two … Action!", and the initiative is to push for the country to become one of the world's leading movie locations, Acting Sub-Lieutenant Anuparb Gaysornsuwan, director-general of the department, said yesterday.

"Thailand - Take Two … Action!" signifies the fact that this year's festival is the second to be held, and also that Thailand is ready for more action despite the political disruption that took place earlier this year, but which had no significant impact on the industry, he said.

In January and February, the country generated more than Bt600 million of revenue from foreign films being shot here. By the end of the year, it hopes to surpass the Bt2.5-billion goal, he added.

The Tourism Department, which is part of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, is preparing to host the festival after the tremendous success of the first event.

Last year's event enabled the Kingdom to generate 22 per cent more income from the local shooting of foreign movies than in the previous year, he said. Anuparb described the "Thailand International Film Destination Festival" as one of a kind, in that it is the world's only festival that combines movie-making and tourism. The two aspects support each other under three strategies.

Firstly, it is a way for Thailand to showcase its readiness in terms of location, personnel and state-of-the-art film equipment through the international short-film festival.

Secondly, it is an opportunity for location managers to improve their skills from knowledge transfer by international experts. Location managers are literally the first point of contact when a movie is looking for a location, so equipping them with the skills they need is integral to the industry's success, said the department head.

Lastly, the festival cements the trust Thailand has long received as a film destination of choice. Screenings of movies shot here are the perfect way to show the world why Thailand has been chosen as the location for many internationally renowned movies.

The festival will consist of five key activities: an opening press conference; "Thailand on Screen", during which movies shot in Thailand will be shown; the "Amazing Thailand Film Challenge", which is a contest for short films shot in Thailand; "Hot Set - Thailand's incredible locations", a seminar for movie-making personnel; and the awards and closing ceremony.


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