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Business trends

Tourist-magnet pedestrian zones return to Bangkok

Street vendors help revive Thai tourism hit by slowing Chinese economy

Traffic is banned from Bangkok's busy Silom Road on weekends, when the street becomes a pedestrian zone lined with food stalls selling local specialties. (Photo by Yohei Muramatsu)

BANGKOK -- Traffic-free pedestrian zones have been reintroduced on main avenues in the Thai capital after a suspension of about four years in hopes of invigorating an economy hit by a tourist spending slowdown.

Thailand's tourism industry has been negatively affected by a global economic slowdown and a higher baht. The number of street stalls has been decreasing in Bangkok as urbanization progresses rapidly. Offering a taste of Southeast Asian life, the reinstated pedestrian zones have proved popular with tourists.

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