The city of Kitakyushu in Japan's Fukuoka prefecture has sponsored a Thai television series, allowing it to be filmed in key locations in the city amid hopes of attracting tourists from Thailand, said the city's mayor.
It is hoped that "Devil Lover," a romantic sci-fi action drama series which has used Kitakyushu as its main location, will bring many Thai visitors to the city, said the mayor of Kitakyushu, Kenji Kitahashi, at the drama's launch at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Bangkok.
"Kitakyushu is an industrial and port city with a richness of beautiful nature and mountainous scenery which are suitable to be used as filming locations," said Kitahashi.
Local residents' cooperation with staff filming the series has also proved to be strong in the city, he said.
"Six thousand people have registered to volunteer as unpaid extras for filming in Kitakyushu," said the mayor. "They have cooperated very well."
With Kitakyushu's resemblance to Thailand's port province of Rayong and the popularity of the TV drama, the mayor also hoped the city would be chosen as a pre-training camp for Thai athletes who qualify for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
TV drama-driven tourism strategies have proved to be effective, as the number of Thai tourists to Fukuoka jumped 90 percent since last April after the broadcast of a Thai TV drama, Kolkimono (Kimono's Trap), which was filmed in Fukuoka, according to Shiro Sadoshima, the Japanese ambassador to Thailand and a native of Fukuoka.
source by newsonjapan