Very shortly Thaivisa will announce the findings of its bi-yearly Expat survey and some of the insight is explosive. Chances are you have witnessed some of the changes yourself but until now not been able to quantify it. Now we can and it does not make good reading for Western Expats in Thailand.
Writing on the wall for some time
The clues have been there for all of us to see for sometime. Working in media I have seen the decline and closure of many of our smaller regional media competitors, now partly this was down to their inability to adapt to changing media consumption changes but it was also down to a decline in business catering for Westerners. It is not difficult to work out, a fall in Western consumers means a direct fall in the number of business servicing them.
In Thaivisas survey two years ago it was reported that expats were an unhappy bunch, with 39% saying they were unhappier than when they first arrived in Thailand. This unhappiness was driven by the under 60 year old working expats siting financial pressures as the cause of their problems. 66% of those questioned in 2014 said they had considered leaving Thailand over the last 12 months and, to give you the bench mark, back then 42% of the sample were working expats.
Working Expats continue to leave
Fast forward to present day and only 23% of the sample are now working expats, only 34% of the survey respondents have considered leaving Thailand in the last 12 months and we are a happier than ever before. You see a sizeable chunk of working expats have come good on their earlier promises and now left Thailand.
I still hear a few Expats say we are just seeing a recycling of expats, when some go others replace them. Well that does not look the case either. Two years ago, 20% of the expat sample had lived in Thailand 3 years or less, today that figure is only 14%. Less expats are arriving than ever before.
The Thaivisa Expat survey goes on to identify other huge insight that suggests a tough time ahead for the Western Expat, more so if they are working. Do look out for the survey on Thaivisa, a quick google search will find it (search ‘Thaivisa Expat survey 2018’).