Malaysian tourists spend less on Hat Yai celebrations

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SONGKHLA, Oct 6 — Large numbers of Malaysian tourists are now visiting Hat Yai, known Thailand’s southern shopping paradise, to celebrate the Eid-al-Adha Festival which began yesterday — but their spending is down, much less  than in previous years, probably due to the sluggish economy  in many countries worldwide. 

At the same time, local authorities and business operators have joined together to preclude incidents which might dampen the visitors enthusiasm for coming to Thailand in this popular tourist attraction, close to the Thai-Malaysian border.

The festival, known as the ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’, is a major Muslim festival lasting for four days.

Somchart Pimthanapoonporn, president of Hat Yai-Songkhla Hotel Association, said that 80 per cent of Hat Yai’s hotel rooms have been booked by tourists, down from the same period in past years.

Mr Somchart said Malaysian tourists have become cautious in spending, probably due to the poor economy in countries worldwide.

He expects Bt20-30 million would change hands here during the festival.