How International Films Contributed to Brand Thailand

Thailand has long been a popular filming destination with superb locations, stunning natural backdrops, historical sites and a vibrant home-grown film industry that provides expertise to international film makers. A number of films shot in Thailand have had a great deal of influence on tourism in Thailand providing global exposure of The Kingdom, its natural beauty and hospitality of the Thai people. Here are 3 stand out films that contributed significantly to Thailand’s image and created a wave of visitors after release in global cinemas.

“The Man with the Golden Gun”

the 1974 release of the James Bond franchise featured Roger Moore as Bond in epic speed boat chases in Phang Nga Bay off the east coast of Phuket.

Azure waters, over 155 islands dotting the bay with towering limestone cliffs, jungle draped bays and mysterious caves provided the perfect tropical backdrop Bond and his nemesis. Koh Tapu or Nail Island, a natural formation jutting vertically from the bay became an instant James Bond icon, which to this day continues to draw visiting tourists to this breathtaking bay.

“The Beach”

the 2000 release that shot Leonardo DiCaprio to stardom also put the Phi Phi Islands on the world stage. Located in the Andaman Sea between the Krabi mainland and Phuket, Phi Phi Leh is one of 6 islands featured in the film. Turquoise waters, coral reefs, towering limestone cliffs and the powder white sands of Maya Bay provided the ultimate backdrop of an idyllic beach of escape and adventure.

The release of this film arguably put southern Thailand firmly on the backpack trail and attracted thousands of young adventurous travelers to Phuket, Phi Phi and surrounding areas in the Andaman Sea.

Today these islands and Krabi beaches of Ao Nang and Railay attract enthusiasts of all things natural, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, rock climbing for an unrivalled sun, sand and sea experience.

“Lost in Thailand”

released in 2012 put northern Thailand and particularly Chiang Mai firmly in the spot light of Thailand’s newest and most numerous visitors, those from China.

A rollicking Chinese comedy that became the highest grossing movie in China that earned over 1 billion yuan and overtook “Titanic” as the highest earning cinema release, this film was a smash hit that spawned a visit to Chiang Mai craze and more broadly to all of Thailand. Today Thailand is among the top 3 destinations for Chinese travelers who account for 27% of almost 40 million annual visitors to The Kingdom.

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