China to 'blacklist' its unruly tourists: Report

BEIJING (AFP) - China will create a "blacklist" of its tourists who behave badly overseas, state-media reported, after several embarrassing incidents involving Chinese travelling abroad.

The country's National Tourism Administration (NTA) will keep a database of travellers who commit offences, with their names passed onto police, customs officials and even banks, the official Xinhua news agency reported Saturday.

Tourism authorities will then inform blacklisted tourists and "propose correction measures in order to mitigate the negative impact", Xinhua said, citing the NTA. The report did not specify what the corrective measures might be.

Offences that could earn obnoxious tourists a place on the blacklist include "acting anti-socially on public transport, damaging private or public property, disrespecting local customs, sabotaging historical exhibits or engaging in gambling or pornographic activities," Xinhua said.

People will be blacklisted for two years after they offend, it added.

China's economy has boomed over the past decade, expanding the ranks of its middle-class who are hungry for foreign travel after the country's decades of isolation in the last century.

Chinese travellers took 100 million "outbound" trips - including to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan - last year, according to official figures.

But the surge of wanderlust has left some officials back home red-faced and the blacklist is the latest of China's efforts to control its citizens' behaviour abroad.

Chinese tourists were reported to have outraged locals in Thailand this year by drying underwear in an airport, defecating in public and kicking a bell at a temple.

Several air rage incidents - including Chinese passengers opening emergency exit doors and throwing boiling noodles at cabin crew - have also been reported in the last year.

In 2013, a China national sparked online outrage after he wrote his name on an ancient carving in Egypt.

The NTA said in a 64-page "Guidebook for Civilised Tourism", issued in 2013, that tourists should not pick their noses in public, pee in pools or steal airplane life jackets.

Chinese travellers spent US$102 billion (S$140 billion) overseas in 2012, making them the world's biggest spenders ahead of German and US tourists, according to the UN World Tourism Organization.