Mind your manners, book tells Chinese tourists in US
Sneezing or picking your teeth without covering your mouth.
Yelling at a waiter or waitress.
Blocking other people when you are on an escalator.
Swearing at others in public.
Those are some examples of bad behavior by Chinese tourists when they’re in the US, according to the China National Tourist Office (CNTO) in New York.
And it hopes a 135-page small-sized book – How To Be A Popular Traveller in the USA – will help Chinese tourists mind their manners, especially this year, which has been declared the year of China-US tourism by Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama.
The US is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists. Brand USA, a destination marketing organization, said that 2.2 million Chinese tourists traveled to the US in 2014, and that China will become the largest source of travelers to the US in three years.
The book – in Chinese except for its preface in English – has just had its first print run of 5,000. It will be given out free through the Chinese Consulate General in New York and travel agencies that bring tourists from China.
Pan Xiaopeng, deputy director of CNTO in New York, said China has become the fourth-largest inbound tourism source for the US. Since New York has several direct flights from China, the Big Apple is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists.
“With the increase in cultural exchange, more conflicts between tourists and locals are observed has been noted,’’ says the book’s preface. “Travelers from each respective might have a lack of knowledge about each other’s and local religion, lifestyle, customs, laws and regulations. In the United States especially, misunderstandings from Chinese travelers could come across as inappropriate or offensive.’’
Pan said that the book with five chapters covers every aspect of a trip to the US: destinations, people, culture and religion, local customs, transportation, food, medical services, safety and security.
The chapter Good Manners for Chinese Visitors highlights common improper behavior exhibited by Chinese tourists and the possible reasons for each is analyzed and explored. It “encourages Chinese visitors to raise awareness of specific Western ideologies with the intention of minimizing and ceasing improper behaviors,” the preface says.
“I like the idea of having this section in the book,” said Chi Jin, a business owner from Fujian, China, who was in New York City. “We could first have a mindset of how to behave in a different country by reading this book, then we can show proper behaviors when we are actually traveling in the US.”
“By understanding culture, Chinese visitors will have a better grasp on how their behavior is perceived by American locals,” the manual reads.
Ye Huanwen, a teacher from Beijing who is taking his students to a summer camp in the US, said the book would be especially helpful for the children coming to US for the first time.
“The first things I taught my students about the US before we came here were its culture and how that differs from the Chinese culture,” Ye said. “For example, in US restaurants and hotels we need to leave tips after we enjoy the service. I told the kids about that, so they would act properly here. The book is serving a similar function as a teacher for every visitor.”
“I think overall the Chinese tourists are showing good qualities,” said Wang Yan, a medical worker from San Francisco who was traveling in New York City with her family. “Yesterday we visited the Charging Bull (the bull statue on Wall Street), and people, including a large number of Chinese, were all waiting in line to take pictures. I think in general we Chinese people are performing as good as others.”
Gabrela Uras, a staffer at New York City Center who interacts with tourists daily, said being respectful should be a universal value for tourists.
“Good behavior is to be respectful and accept suggestions, and just be nice,” said Uras. “And it’s good to see Chinese tourists getting prepared through a book like this.”
Tourists from different countries are gathering in Times Square, New York on Wednesday. The city is attracting over 50 million travelers a year, including a large number of Chinese tourists.
HowToBeaPopularTravellerinthe USA, a guide from the China National Tourist Office