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Survey says… most Thais prefer to keep foreign tourists out, for now




“The local respondents showed little interest in visiting the more popular foreign tourist magnets of Pattaya and Phuket.”

A recent Suan Dusit Poll asked Thais whether they wanted foreign tourists visiting Thailand soon. 75.7% said “no”. 54.4% said they would prefer the Thai people to tour their own country first before heading overseas. 21.3% say they are afraid foreign visitors would spark a second wave of Covid-19.

The Suan Dusit Poll was conducted between June 9-12 on 1,116 people throughout the country on issues ranging from the easing of restrictions, domestic tourism and the possible re-opening of the country’s borders.

“When do you think Thailand’s tourism would return to normal after the Covid-19 situation is resolved?”

41.4% responded “in one year”, 25.9% said “six months”, 20.5% said “two years”, and 12.2% thought it would take “more than two years”. Only 24.3% say they want foreign tourists to come soon so that they could help reignite the country’s tourist economy and generate income for Thais.

The same respondents were also asked to list the provinces whey would like to visit during this interim period of domestic-only tourism. Chiang Mai 31%, Prachuap Khiri Khan 28.1%, Bangkok 19.4%, Chon Buri 18.6% and Kanchanaburi 11.9%. The local respondents showed little interest in visiting the more popular foreign tourist magnets of Pattaya and Phuket.

The results of the poll, mostly spurred on by fears of foreigners bringing another wave of Covid-19 from overseas, has been backed up by the results of the repatriation flights where a statistically significant number of repatriated Thais have tested positive for Covid-19.

This week there’s also been a spate of ‘bans’ for foreigners travelling in Thailand (all who have been locked down in the country along with everyone else) from travelling on some buses, and from entering some tourist attractions or temples.

(Whilst understanding the sensitivity of these poll results, Suan Dusit Polls are well recognised for their professional and open polls. The sample size is in line with their polls on other matters over the years.)

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar


    Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    This foreigner has been stranded here since March and I am waiting for the borders to open so I can go home and see if my house is still standing, and perhaps start work again. Until International flights are allowed in, I will remain stuck here, spending a fortune on accommodation and a vehicle, living alone with no social life etc etc etc. Thailand, please be careful for what you wish for. Tourists generally like to book their holidays well in advance, and if they are told they are not welcome in your country, they will book to take their money elsewhere, and will not come back. Being called ‘dirty foreigners’ did not help either.

  2. Avatar

    Nerissa CG

    Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Instead of using the word ‘xenophobia’, how about using the word ‘racism’, because this is what this is. I have lived in a number of Asian countries and recently moved to Thailand for work. I am shocked to see how racist people are in Thailand. It is disappointing. I am a professional and not a backpacking farang or however many whites are seen here. Corona is bringing out the worst in humans. Whether is whites being racist to Asians in the US or Black people or Chinese being racist to Africans in China. Being racist to anyone is not acceptable. All humans can get corona. The virus affects human beings not skin colours. It also originated in Asia. It isn’t acceptable to exclude people based on the colour of their skin from entering areas or using transport. In my home country, this is illegal. I am mixed race myself and although I look white, have African heritage and have lived and worked in South East Asia for many years. I see myself just as a human being, not a a skin colour and I view everyone else in the same way and give them this level of respect.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Six months of working in the rice fields will change their minds.
    Without foreign investment and tourism Thailand will die.

  4. Avatar


    Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    we have to accept and respect this survey,even if it is a wrong message for the media, the thai economy counts a lot on tourism, even if tourists are not all farang, there are also chinese tourists in the survey

  5. Avatar

    Sofian Charbaux

    Monday, June 15, 2020 at 10:29 am

    “most Thais” = 1,116 people? Out of 69,430,000~ Thai Citizens? that accounts for 0.0000016073743338614433% of the population and that supposedly represent the majority of Thai people? Really Thaiger?

    That’s some BuzzFeed level clickbait titles BS right there.

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