The Tourism and Sports Ministry on Monday reported that Thailand had 6.7 million international visitors last year, generating B332bn.
The biggest drop was seen from the Chinese market, decreasing from nearly 11 million tourists in 2019 to just 1.2 million.
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.
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.
The number of international productions fell sharply compared with the B4.86bn generated by the 740 foreign film crews in the country in 2019.
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.
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.