WSJ; Overheard On The Street: Move Over Hollywood, China's Chollywood Emerges

China's movie industry, or "Chollywood," is getting so influential it can save another country from recession.

Thailand has seen its trade balance disintegrate to a deficit of 6% of gross domestic product from a surplus of the same over the past two years. The only reason this hasn't sent the currency plummeting, and forced a recession, is tourist inflows, says Jonathan Anderson of Emerging Advisors Group.
Net travel revenue doubled to 9% of Thai GDP today from five years ago --and the new demand comes from China. Mainland visitors jumped 93%year over year between January and April. For that, Thailand can especially thank the 2012 hit, "Lost in Thailand." Consider it China's version of "The Hangover II". Except the comedy makes Thailand seem charming, not seedy. The Thai prime minister was so grateful that she invited the movie's director for a recent meeting.


China isn't anywhere near to matching Hollywood's global culture's influence. Still, there is much to be said for Chollywood's hard-currency clout.