Foreign filmmakers flock to the kingdom, spending billions

Thailand has hosted 71 foreign film productions this year, generating more than 3 billion baht for the country, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Tuesday.

The films were shot in 29 provinces between January and October and generated 3.4 billion baht, she said, citing figures provided by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Bangkok was the most popular filming location with 35 productions, followed by Phuket (10), Samut Prakan (8), Pathum Thani (6), Phangnga (5) and three each in Lampang, Surat Thani, Nakhon Nayok, Samut Sakhon , Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Rai.

The top five contributing countries were the United States with 2.5 billion baht, Hong Kong (286 million baht), Singapore (228 million baht), France (120 million baht) and China (85 million baht).

At the same time, Thanusak Phuengdet, chairman of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, said the Phuket Sandbox Scheme has helped prepare the provincial tourism sector for the peak season.

He thanked the local government and the private sector for pushing to get residents vaccinated.

Despite the rainy season, more than 50,000 foreign travelers, including Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, have visited the province since July. They have booked rooms not only in hotels but also in hostels, he said.

With the success of the sandbox program, other commercial operators are set to restart their activities for the coming peak season, he added.

As of Monday, 51,068 visitors had visited the province since the start of the program, according to local authorities.

Crowe’s tweets about his positive experience in Thailand were warmly received. He was making a Vietnam War movie called The Greatest Beer Run Ever.

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