China combats its bad tourist image
China to keep track of its tourists’ unruly behavior abroad 中國官方將追蹤觀光客在外的不良行為表現
Mainland China says it will try to convince its citizens to behave themselves while traveling abroad by requiring authorities back home to keep records of people doing anything illegal or inappropriate while in other countries. Provincial and national authorities will contact tourists when they return home and work with them on fixing their conduct, the China National Tourism Administration said on its website. Police, customs officers, border control and even bank credit agencies should be contacted if necessary, it said.
Higher incomes resulting from China's booming economy have allowed millions of Chinese to start taking vacations outside their country in recent years. The administration said in a separate post that "tourism reflects on the country and the people's image," which means that more "social supervision" of tourists is required.
Chinese tourists have made headlines recently with their unruly behavior while traveling inside and outside the mainland. In March, Thai model Duangjai Phichitamphon was waiting in line at a South Korean airport when, based on her account, a swarm of Chinese tourists overwhelmed the orderly queue she was standing in. Instead of taking a deep breath, Phichitamphon decided to produce a video rant. Her video on Chinese tourist behavior has since gone viral, becoming the latest black eye for the country's travelers, who, rightly or wrongly, are gaining a bad reputation overseas.
Travel etiquette has been a hot topic in China for several years, especially in 2013, when a 15-year-old Chinese tourist was caught etching graffiti on part of a 3,500- year- old temple in Egypt. Repeated incidents continue to attract attention, prompting bouts of national soul-searching. In February, a Chinese tourist in Thailand was caught airing out her underwear on chairs in Chiang Mai airport. In December last year, a Thai AirAsia flight was forced to return to Bangkok after a Chinese passenger threw hot water at a flight attendant. And since December 2014, Chinese airline passengers have been involved in three incidents where they were accused of opening emergency exit doors, causing flights to be delayed.
Whether Chinese are less mannered than other tourists is a matter of debate. Over the years, German, Australian and American tourists have sometimes wracked up loathsome reputations, especially when traveling in large tour groups, as many Chinese do. Part of the backlash has come from the vast numbers of Chinese now traveling. In 2014, more than 100 million Chinese traveled abroad, according to the China National Tourism Administration.