Government angry Thailand came last in ‘Land of Smiles’ poll

Thai and foreign netizens have been left stunned after seeing Thailand ranked at the bottom of a Land of Smiles poll conducted by Gallup Global Emotions 2022. The controversial poll even upset the Thai government who hit back, saying the topic wasn’t even included in the official survey report.

Singaporean media platform, Southeast Asia Stats, posted a “Southeast Asian Country That Treats People With a Smile” poll on its official Facebook page last Sunday, saying Thailand was the bottom country while Indonesia was the globe’s top nation. The poll revealed that Indonesian visitors experienced smiles 90% of the time.

Gallup Global Emotions 2022 surveyed more than 127,000 participants aged above 15 years old from 122 countries all over the world.

The other countries in southeast Asia listed according to votes were: Cambodia 89%, Laos 88%, Vietnam 82%, Philippines 81%, Malaysia 81%, Myanmar 77%, Singapore 77%, and Thailand 77%.

Thailand’s low ranking surprised many people. Some agreed that the Thai people didn’t smile as much as they expected. Others said they were surprised that the kingdom lost its smile polling position. On the other hand, a number of Thai netizens commented they weren’t surprised adding that they couldn’t smile because of the country’s political and economic situation.

Today, the Deputy Spokeswomen of the PM Office, Trisuree Trisaranakul, refused to accept the survey result, saying the Thai government couldn’t find the topic “Southeast Asian Country That Treats People With a Smile” included in the report.

Trisuree said that the objective of the survey should be to investigate negative and positive emotions, together with stress and worries, among the global population. According to the report, negative experiences of people worldwide have increased. People are worried about war, inflation, and the pandemic.

The countries with the highest positive experiences were Panama, Indonesia, Paraguay, El Salvador, and Honduras. The countries with the lowest positive experiences were Afghanistan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and Nepal.

Trisuree emphasised that Gallup Global Emotions 2022 didn’t include the smile poll in the report.

Trisuree added that Thailand is a top destination for tourists. Thai smiles and kindness are aspects drawing tourists to the country and the reason it is named the Land of Smiles.

The government spokesperson added she wants all Thai people to welcome and impress visitors and help boost the Thai economy together.

SOURCE: Khaosod | Spring News | Royal Thai Government


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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.