‘Lost in Thailand’ could draw more tourists to the kingdom


The Thai tourism industry has hopes that the popularity of a new film, “Lost in Thailand”, currently topping the box office in China, will attract more Chinese tourists to the kingdom this year.

Directed by Xu Zheng and filmed mainly in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the film tells the story of two businessmen who go searching for their boss in the north, and then link up with a tourist eager to explore the country.  It is filled with slapstick humor and action scenes.  It has become a record-breaking film, become the highest-grossing Chinese film to date and surpassing more than 1 billion yuan ($160 million) domestically at the box office since its Dec. 12 debut.

A screenshot from the Chinese hit movie “Lost in Thailand”. A screenshot from the Chinese hit movie “Lost in Thailand”.

Sisdiwat Chivarattanaporn, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said the extraordinary response to the movie will likely interest Thai and Chinese travel agents to use the locations as attractions for Chinese tourists.

Chinese visitors to Thailand last year numbered more than 2.5 million, a 56 per cent increase from the previous year’s 1.7 million.  Their traditional and favourite destinations are Bangkok, Pattaya, Ayutthaya and Phuket.

Sisdiwat said the movie should draw the Chinese to a new attraction – Chiang Mai – adding that new activities seen in the film such as having massage at a spa or riding a “tuk-tuk” could be included in sight-seeing itineraries.