Power returned to the Thai resort islands of Samuiand Phangan early Friday after a three-day blackout prompted thousands of peak-season tourists to leave.
The electricity outage, caused by a rupture in a submarine cable connecting the islands to the southern Thai province of Surat Thani, disrupted businesses throughout the islands.
Most of the islands' small hotels and bungalows closed while some big hotels managed to stay open using private generators and candles.The island's airport, however, remained open, allowing tourist exits.
Surat Thani Governor Chatpong Chatphut on Thursday had declared the islands a disaster zone. Businesses sustained losses estimated at Bt10 billion (US$322 million), Samui Tourism Association chairman Thanasak Somwong said.
Sixteen large mobile generators had been moved to Samui as an emergency measure, Thanasak said while expressing concerns about meeting the island's long-term power needs.
Tourist arrivals on Samui and Phangan have been increasing about20 per cent per year and last year hit a record of more than 800,000,tourism officials said.