Phuket Poll: Foreign tourists lax on Thai culture

PHUKET: Foreign visitors to Phuket make some, but not considerable, effort to understand and respect Thai culture, the results of the latest Phuket Gazette Readers’ Poll reveal.

A total of 325 readers took part in the two-week survey, posted on July 22, 2010.

The poll followed a report by the local Culture Ministry office that a foreigner running a restaurant in Patong had disrespected local culture by modifying a large Buddha image to serve as a garden fountain, one with water flowing out from the top of its head.

Overall, 58% of those taking part agreed with the statement “foreign tourists make some, but not considerable, effort to understand and respect Thai culture.”

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A smaller number, 27.4%, felt “foreign tourists make little or no effort to understand and respect Thai culture.”

The least popular of the three responses got 13.8% of the vote: “Foreign tourists make a strong effort to understand and respect Thai culture.”

In a breakdown by demographics, there was little variation among those identifying themselves as resident expats or Thai nationals: about a third of those in both groups felt tourists made little or no effort to understand the local culture.

Of those identifying themselves as tourists or visitors to Phuket, however, only 20% felt this was the case. Another 20% said they felt foreign tourists make a strong effort to understand and respect Thai culture. The majority (60%) felt the effort lay somewhere in the middle.

— News Editor

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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