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Business trends

Politics drive tourists away from Japan and Hong Kong to SE Asia

Previously popular destinations lose out from summer of troubles

Tourists walk on Gold Bridge near the central Vietnamese city of Danang. The country has been attracting more South Koreans in recent months.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- This summer's political turmoil is redrawing the map of Asian tourism, with South Korean and Chinese travelers avoiding previously popular destinations like Japan and Hong Kong for Southeast Asia.

The growing trade feud between Tokyo and Seoul, the protests in Hong Kong, and active campaigning by Southeast Asian countries have all played a role. Changing patterns in the travel and tourism sector, which now accounts for roughly 10% of global economic activity, could have further regional implications.

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