Thais named as Asia’s top tippers

Posted on April 7, 2014


Thais are the most regular tippers in the Asia Pacific region, a new study has revealed.

According to MasterCard research, 84% of people in Thailand regularly leave a tip behind in bars and restaurants, making them the region’s most generous nation, ahead of Bangladesh (80%).

India (78%) and the Philippines (73%) were also found to be good tippers, with the Northeast Asian nations of Japan (4%), South Korea (10%), Taiwan (12%) and China (15%) among the least likely to offer gratuity. The average across the Asia Pacific was 40%, with Hong Kong (56%) slightly above line and Singapore (20%) significantly below it.

There was also a marked difference in Australasia, with 46% of Australians professing to be regular tippers, compared to just 12% of New Zealanders.

Men (43%) appear more inclined to leave behind a tip than women (36%), and respondents over the age of 45 (42%) are more generous than 18-19 year-olds (37%).

“Tipping in Asia can be confusing because the region holds diverse views towards the practice. Cultural nuances can make tipping a rule of thumb in some Asian markets, while in others it can be discouraged or even considered rude,” said Georgette Tan, MasterCard’s group head of communications for Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa.

“Of all the travel research MasterCard puts out, this survey of local residents gives us good insight into accepted practices, which helps keep tourists and foreigners in the know.”

The research was based on a survey of almost 8,000 respondents in 14 Asia Pacific countries.

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