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Since the early 1980's, tourism has been Phuket's chief source of income. Hotels, restaurants, tour companies, and souvenir shops are much in evidence on the west coast. However, while once all-important tin mining has ceased, tourism is by no means the island's only business activity.

Agriculture remains important to a large proportion of Phuket's people, and much of the island's land area is dedicated to the principal crops of rubber, coconuts, cashews, and pineapples. Prawn farming is widespread on the east and south coasts.

Pearl farming is also important, while Phuket's fishing port is always busy. In fact, the processing of marine products, mainly fish, makes a significant contribution to the economy.

With so many healthy industries, generating considerable income for the island, construction has become a major factor in employment. Projects range from massive public works, large office buildings and hotels, to housing estates with hundreds of units, single family homes and apartments.