Mind your man­ners, book tells Chi­nese tourists in US

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By SHI XI in New York

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.”

NANCY KONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

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.

NIU YUE / FOR CHINA DAILY

HowToBeaPop­u­larTrav­el­lerinthe USA, a guide from the China Na­tional Tourist Of­fice

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