China’s Tourism Agency Gives Its Outbound Tourists More Manners Advice

Skift Take

In fairness to Chinese tourists, every new generation of outbound travelers need help understanding customs outside of their home county. Kudos to Chinese officials for giving them a hand.

— Jason Clampet

Chinese tourists visiting domestic and international destinations over the holiday season have been given tips on behaviour following a spate of publicised incidents that dented their reputation.

The guidance, issued by the China National Tourism Administration, covered “dos and don’ts” and will help tourists better enjoy the holiday experience.

An increasingly common and welcome sight at the world’s top destinations, Chinese tourists have provided an economic boost wherever they go.

More than 98 million overseas visits were made by Chinese tourists in 2013, representing a massive 18 per cent increase from 2012.

While the vast majority of these visits ended without incident, there were cases in which some tourists displayed inconsiderate behaviour.

The administration’s list reminds tourists not to smoke in nonsmoking areas, cut in lines, deface artifacts, spit, shout, or remove footwear in public places.

“The behaviour of a small group of Chinese tourists did, to some extent, damage China’s image in terms of etiquette,” said Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy.

Showing respect for foreign cultures and customs is vitally important, a leading industry figure said.

“Every Chinese traveler abroad is an ambassador for the country, and should behave appropriately and respect the customs and culture of the host country,” said Zhou Zhengyu, head of the Beijing Tourism Development Committee, during a meeting in Beijing on January 27 to launch the better behaviour campaign.

“While the Chinese get to know the world better during their trips, the world is also getting a glimpse of China through the tourists,” he said.

According to a 2012 poll conducted by the US-based e-commerce site Living Social, Chinese tourists rank second in a list of the world’s worst, next to the US.

“Learning about foreign habits and customs is a process,” said Dai. “Many developed countries also take years to change the behaviour of their tourists.”

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