Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Le is where the hit movie The Beach was filmed in 2000. SEKSAN ROJJANAMETAKUN
Revenue from foreign film productions shot in Thailand has reached 900 million baht during the first quarter, according to the Department of Tourism.
It was generated from 275 productions, including 113 advertisements, 68 TV programmes, 53 documentaries, 21 feature films, 14 music videos, five TV series and one TV drama.
Japan is the top country that chose Thailand as a location, followed by India, the United States, the UK, Korea, China and Hong Kong.
According to Department of Tourism director-general Wannasiri Morakul, it expects the total earnings from foreign films to reach 3 billion baht, up from 1.5 billion baht last year, generated from 605 foreign films.
Thanks to the new incentive scheme launched on Jan 1, the government will offer a 15% cash rebate on a film that spent at least 50 million baht in the Kingdom. The incentive does not include TV commercials.
If foreign film studios hire Thais in major roles, they will get an extra 3% cash rebate and a further 2% if the films are shot in specific locations the department wants to promote, including those in the Northeast.
The maximum cash rebate for one film is 75 million baht.
Thailand is among the top five in Asia for foreign-film shooting, she said, adding that the new cash-rebate scheme would push the country to one of the top three positions.
Water park opening
A new water park will be opening in Samut Sakhon. It is located not far from the edge of the southern part of Bangkok, and close to the famous Phanthai Norasing Shrine. The park was promoted as Jurassic Water Park before changing its name to the official Pantai Norasingh Water Park.
The water park is owned by local investors including Panthai Norasing Municipality mayor Wattana Taengmanee. Holding the dinosaur theme, the water park has about 70 dinosaur sculptures on its 80 rai plot of land.
The attractions inside the water park include a floating playground, lazy river, swimming pools, zip line plus futsal and volleyball courts.
The park is on Road 2004, about 8km from Rama II. It will be open on May 26.
Bangkok Airways has launched its Bike On Board service.
Passengers can load their bikes as their second piece of luggage at no additional cost. The service is limited to one bicycle per passenger.
The bicycle must be suitably packed, with the tires deflated before loading. Total dimension must not exceed 145x160x110cm. Passengers are required to reserve the space 24 hours before departure.
This service will be available for free until the end of March 2018 on the airline’s entire network except sectors operated by ATR aircraft.
Thai Airways has increased its code-share flights with its sister company Thai Smile.
The code-share flights will make it more convenient for passengers of Thai Airways to reach more destinations in Southeast Asia, according to Thai Airways executive vice-president, Commercial, Teerapol Chotichanapibal.
The destinations include Siem Reap, Kota Kinabalu, Chittagong and Luang Prabang. In addition, the company has increased the code-share flight-frequency between Bangkok and Phnom Penh to 18 flights per week, and between Bangkok and Penang to 10 flights per week.
Four boutique hotels in Thailand have been listed in the collection of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Known as SLH, it has 520 small and luxurious hotels in 80 countries. Two out of four properties to be added in the SLH collection belong to Akyra Hotels & Resorts.
First is Akyra Beach Club Phuket, opened in January and featuring 58 suites and villas on Natai Beach. Next is Akyra Thonglor Bangkok, opened last December.
The hotel features 148 rooms and suites, each with a fully equipped kitchenette. Other facilities are a pool bar, an executive lounge and a restaurant.
Also listed is the Cape Kudu Hotel in Koh Yao Noi, Phangnga. Owned by Cape & Kantary Hotels, the hotel also opened in January. It features 55 luxurious rooms, including 11 pool villas and a Robinson Crusoe suite. The hotel will add a spa in September.
Last is 137 Pillars Suites and Residences on Sukhumvit Soi 39, Bangkok. The hotel, opened last month, offers 34 suites and a skybar.
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