Thais in Phuket confident in English skills, but foreigners disagree

PHUKET: The results of the latest Phuket Gazette online poll show that a strong majority of foreign and expat residents find English-language skills in the local tourism industry very poor – but the small fraction of Thais who took part tended to rate them quite highly.

A total of 1,864 people took part in the two-week poll launched on May 22, which asked readers: Phuket is among the best-known international tourist destinations in Asia. As such, how would you rate the overall English-language skills of local people working in the tourism industry here?

Overall, just over half of those who took part (51.3%) rated them “incomprehensible”, while 22.7% rated them as “poor”. Another 15.2% thought they were “fair”, while only 6.9% described them as “very good”. The least popular reply was “excellent”, at just 3.9% of the total vote.

There was a stark disparity among the three demographic groups: those who identified themselves as “Thais”, “foreign local residents” and “tourists”.

Tourists had the least flattering assessment, with 65% choosing “incomprehensible” and 13% opting for “poor”. Only 2% of tourists chose “excellent”.

In stark contrast, of those identifying themselves as Thais 44% chose “excellent” followed by 21% who chose “very good”.

Among those identifying themselves as expats, who accounted for almost half (48.3%) of the total vote, the most popular choice was “incomprehensible” (43%), followed by “poor” (33%), “fair” (18%), “very good” (5%) and “excellent” (1%).

To view the full results click here.

To vote in the new poll click here.

To comment leave a post in our readers poll below. The Phuket Gazette welcomes all comments that meet our house rules.

To view an editorial on this topic, pick up a copy of the next edition of the Phuket Gazette available at news stands across the island this weekend.

Phuket News

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