Phuket Industry & Tourism
Phuket General Information
In the past decade, tourism has become the biggest earner for the area, and continues to grow rapidly with more than 3 million visitors every year. In recent years, tourism revenues have resulted in better roads, better hospitals and public utilities. However one of the main issues now facing Phuket, is how to maintain a balance between the benefits of tourism while sustaining the natural attractions that originally brought visitors here.
First introduced from Malaya in 1903, the orderly ranks of rubber trees soon came to define much of the local landscape. Rubber plantations are still much in evidence, but soaring real estate values and the boom in tourism has meant that land is being turned to other uses.
Tinhas been mined on Phuket from time immemorial, however the demand for the metal has declined. Tin dredging in offshore waters has decreased in the past few years, by zoning regulations designed to help protect the coral reefs and beaches of the west coast. Old tin-mine workings on land, meanwhile, are being converted from unsightly scars in the landscape to beautiful resort hotel developments, yacht marinas, golf courses and bungee-jumping facilities.
Coconuts, Pineapples, Bananas and Cashews
Agricultural products of various sorts still contribute significantly to Phuket's economy, but more and more farming land - even rice paddies - are being given over to housing estates, roads, and other infrastructure.
Fishing still forms an important part of life for the people living along the coast, however small-scale fisheries are being hurt by modern trawling, some of it illegal. Large-scale fisheries, meanwhile, are threatened with the depletion of commercial fish stocks from over-fishing.