(Bloomberg) -- Singapore is starting a S$10 million ($7.5 million) fund to support international movies that showcase the city to a global audience, helping finance production and marketing costs where the island is featured.

The fund — a joint initiative of Infocomm Media Development Authority and the Singapore Tourism Board — follows past collaborations including the hit 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians, the agencies said in a joint statement Wednesday. The latest move will also allow local talent to participate in those projects, they said. 

“Singapore has many surprises to offer as a filming destination,” said Jasmine Ng, president of the Singapore Association of Motion Picture Professionals. “The compact city is home to a wide range of striking architecture and rich, diverse cultures, while providing a safe and trusted working environment.” 

While Asia was slower than the rest of the world to open its borders after the Covid pandemic, travel is now starting to pick up in the region, particularly after China reopened after almost three years of being shut off from the outside world. Tourists are now spending 60% more on Singapore-based activities compared with pre-pandemic levels on travel platform Klook. 

The new fund will support selected projects that are set in Singapore. About 300 locals worked on Crazy Rich Asians including production crew and a dozen local actors, while landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands and Merlion Park were featured. 

Singapore also sees an opportunity with the rise of female travelers, who are looking for a destination to shop and spend, and get back to their hotels safely even late at night, according to Keith Tan, chief executive of the STB. The city is also targeting people who travel for one-off experiences such as sporting events, he said.

The Tourism Board and Klook also announced a partnership Wednesday, expanding a previous arrangement to focus more on newer aspects including branding and marketing, according to a separate statement. Monthly inbound travel to Singapore is now above 2019 levels, with an estimated 2.9 million international visitors in the first three months of this year. 

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