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Tourism ‘revival’ in southern Thailand

An area of southern Thailand hit by bombings last year has witnessed a revival in its tourist industry, it has been reported.

Security fears had led to holidaymakers avoiding the Songkhla province close to the Malaysian border, but the Bangkok Post has reported that the tourists are returning.

A rise in the number of foreign visitors to Hat Yai city and the surrounding area has been largely attributed to the return of tourist groups from neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia during the recent school holidays.

Somchai Pimthanapunporn, president of Hat Yai-Songkhla hotels association, said tourism in Songkhla has risen in recent weeks, with more than 200 million baht entering the local economy.

Increased confidence in the safety of the area comes as a boost to western backpackers in the area, or those taking long-haul trips for an extended summer break.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand describes Songkla as an “undeniably historic town endowed with ancient ruins, arts, and places of cultural importance”.

Meanwhilem, Hat Yai is said to be the “commercial, transportation, communication, educational, and tourism hub of the south”.

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