Thursday, 21 November 2019

Thai tourism hotspot braces for rare slump

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PHUKET: Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island have been forced to slash prices with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as tourist chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht.

Located on the Andaman Sea and known for its beaches and nightlife, sun-drenched Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year after Bangkok and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry. Tourism accounts for 18 percent of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals.

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