Thailand earns $60 million from foreign films shooting in 2010

MUMBAI: Thailand earned $60 million from foreign film production teams shooting in the country last year, according to the Department of Tourism.

Department of Tourism director general Supol Sripan announced that the statistics of the Thailand Film Office showed that 578 productions were filmed in Thailand in 2010, earning the country Bt1.87 billion baht ($60 million) in 2010, double the more than Bt900 million ($30 million) earned in 2009.

The greatest number of foreign production teams was from India and Japan with European and Korean productions following close behind, according to Thailand Film Office (Thailand’s Film Commission) director Wanasiri Morakul.

Acknowledging the strong Baht may cause production services costs to increase slightly, Morakul said Thailand’s lower costs were only one factor for the rise in foreign film production in Thailand last year.  

"Foreign film makers consistently note the availability of top quality equipment, exotic locations and multilingual/cultural Thai crews that work extremely hard," said Morakul.

Sripan added that he expected additional growth in the industry in 2011 because the Thai government has approved incentives to film makers.

The Cabinet approved the exemption of film shooting fees in areas owned by seven state offices including the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the Department of Fine Arts, the State Railway of Thailand, the Treasury Department, the Royal Forest Department, the Royal Irrigation Department and Suvarnabhumi Airport.  Both local and foreign film production teams are subject to receive the incentive.

The Cabinet approved additional incentives which are still under review by the Revenue Department.

"We hope additional growth will come from roadshows in Europe and Russia later in 2011 and also an inbound roadshow of top studios, producers and location coordinators that will spread the word about Thailand’s industry", said Morakul.