Thailand is to introduce financial incentives for film and TV projects that shoot in the country.
The scheme, which will kick off in 2017, will offer a minimum of 15% cash rebate for production all spending in the country that exceeds $1.5 million. The total can expand to 20% through a further 3% step for the use of Thai cast or crew in prominent positions, and a 2% step for movies or shows that are classified as promoting tourism in the country.
The new scheme was unveiled in Cannes at an event in the Thai Pavilion, by General Tanasak Patimapragorn, the country’s deputy prime minister and chairman of the National Film and Video Committee, and Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the minister of tourism and sports.
The country’s cabinet approved the establishment of the scheme on Tuesday, shortly before the officials boarded their planes for Cannes.
Thailand is the main production services hub in South East Asia, boasting studios, post-production facilities and experienced crews. But its role has been challenged in recent years by the building of new studio facilities in Singapore and Indonesia, and the opening of studios in neighboring Malaysia, which increased its impact by also establishing a 30% rebate scheme.
Major international shoots in Thailand have included “The Hangover II,” and “No Escape.” The country has a major tourist industry and has long been aware of the film’s potential to drive visitor numbers. In recent years it has created the Thailand International Destination Film Festival to attract short film makers to highlight the country’s natural beauty.
The 2012 Chinese-made film “Lost in Thailand” sparked a wave of tourism to Chiang Mai.