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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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