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Exploring Cultural and Aesthetic Dimensions in Transnational Film Fan Tourism


At a Glance

Film based tourism has key economic, social and cultural implications, not only for the nations involved but also for those nations

(such as UK, USA), whose citizens engage in both online and offline exploration of the real-life spaces of their film-fandoms. Developing and extending an on-going project supported by Thailand Research Fund - TRF, which highlights the importance of online participatory culture to fan visitors to Thailand, this project allows Thailand and UK based partners to work in collaboration to explore the wider debates related to SEA film trails. 

Principal investigator: Dr. Wikanda Promkhuntong

(Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University, Thailand)

Co-investigator: Professor Kate Taylor-Jones

(School of East Asian Studies, Sheffield University, UK)


The Thailand Research Fund part of the project explores stories told by film fans who visited film locations in Thailand on sites including, Tripadvisor, Instagram and YouTube. The intention is to explore aesthetics and socio-cultural implications from fan tourism through the point of view of film fans, which would expand the subject on fan tourism beyond the destination marketing discourse. As part of the project, the investigator also interviews business owners on their views towards fan tourism.

The Newton funded part of the project (titled: Fan Tourism and the Southeast Asian Film Trails: Archive and Participatory Cultures within and beyond Colonial Nostalgia – promoting sustainable fan tourism to boost Thailand’s socio-economic development) explores three key areas of fan tourism in Southeast Asia: archive, colonial nostalgia and border-crossing. These areas are investigated through creative exchanges, academic seminars and workshop and training.

Art Gallery

Newton Fund Training and Exchanges (2018-2019)

Paintings In Gallery

Thailand Research Fund Resarch (2018-2021)

Cinephile/Fan Pilgrimage in Thailand: Exploring Cultural and Aesthetic Dimensions in Transnational Fan-generated Content


Thailand and Southeast Asia (SEA) more broadly, significantly relies on tourism for a larger part of its economy. Recently, the phenomenon of “fan tourism” has become a key point of debate following the success of transnational films from The Beach (2000, USA) to Lost in Thailand (2012, China) and the specific form of tourism that has resulted. SEA film trails (based on popular sites featured in films) have been established and are shared both on- and off-line for potential visitors. However, existing research has tended to focused on tourist behaviours and heritage conservation within specific national states. Questions related to transnational fandom and the socio-cultural implications of their tourism are highly under-explored. It is this important gap that this project seeks to tackle.


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