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Hat Yai busy again on Malaysian holiday

The tourism business in Hat Yai district, Thailand's southern business and tourism hub in Songkhla province, is expected to be back to business as usual for this year's celebration of Malaysia's independence, with more south of the border tourists anticipated to come back, according to a local hotelier.

Somchart Pimtanapoonporn, president of the Hat Yai-Songkhla Hotels Association, said a flood of Malaysian tourists were travelling to Hat Yai to celebrate the 50th Malaysian Independence Day Friday.

He said 80 per cent of over 9,000 hotel rooms in Hat Yai, a shopping paradise for tourists, were booked for the August 30-September 1 holiday period, with some Bt100 million expected to change hands.

Mr. Somchart said the atmosphere on Friday morning was quite lively as many Malaysians enjoy shopping and eating in the district.

The tourism business was expected to pick up as locals and tourists gain more confidence in relation to safety, despite the region's ongoing insurgency, he said.

However, the hotelier admitted that tourism campaigns are still needed to build the atmosphere for tourism, and that good security measures needed to be in place to secure confidence among tourists.

Meanwhile, in Betong district of the nearby province of Yala, security personnel were on high alert as many Malaysian tourist were flocking into the district to celebrate their long independence day holiday.
Some 90 per cent of hotel rooms in the Betong are occupied and over Bt20 million is expected to change hands, considered a good sign of business reviving in the province. TNA reports

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