Thailand‘s friendly factor figures highly among expatriates planning to relocate to other countries, according to the Expat Explorer 2010 online survey sponsored by HSBC Bank International.
Friendly attitude of the people towards foreigners is lauded by the expatriate community.
Conducted by a third-party research firm between April and June, the survey of 4,127 expats from more than 100 countries found that the five countries where it was easiest to make friends with the local people are Bermuda, Bahrain, Thailand, South Africa and Hong Kong, while Europe was the hardest region to make friends: Holland led the list followed by Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Belgium.
In addition to the friendliness, Thailand for the second year running was the most romantic destination, with two-thirds of single expats having found a local partner since relocating, followed closely by Spain.
Expatriates also placed Thailand third on the list for smooth relocation process, after South Africa and Canada. The process includes the ease of setting up their finances, healthcare, accommodation, utilities and travelling around locally, while the three most difficult countries were India, Qatar and Russian Federation.
Thailand also received top score for quality of life for expatriates retiring there while India placed last, their reason being choice of food, local diet and healthcare.
Overall, nearly half of expats currently living in Thailand plan to stay on, with most of them having already been here five years or more.
“The results highlight that while expats might initially be drawn to certain countries for career progression and earning potential, those that provide a good quality of life are more likely to encourage long term settlement among expats,” said the survey.