Teen in China first local tourist to be blacklisted

Li Wenchun has been punished for climbing onto a statue depicting a soldier of the Red Army at a commemorative park in China last month.
Li Wenchun has been punished for climbing onto a statue depicting a soldier of the Red Army at a commemorative park in China last month.PHOTO: SINA WEIBO

BEIJING - A Chinese teenager has become the first local tourist to be blacklisted for uncivilised behaviour in the country after new rules kicked in last month to shame citizens who conduct themselves badly.

Eighteen-year-old Li Wenchun was seen climbing onto a statue depicting a female soldier of the Red Army - the predecessor of the People's Liberation Army - at a commemorative park for a photo late last month.

His antic was captured on camera by passers-by and posted on social media where he was heavily berated.

Li is to stay on the tourist blacklist for 10 years, said the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) on Tuesday. This means he would be closely watched whenever he visits a tourist site in China during this period, The Beijing News reported.

The management of the scenic spot, Shengli Shan (Victory Hill) in north-west China's Shaanxi province, was not spared either. The attraction would not be considered for star rating for the next two years as punishment for its poor administration, according to the CNTA.

The new regulation comes amid growing concern about the uncivilised behaviour of some Chinese tourists both at home and abroad.

In 2013, a Chinese student sparked an outcry in Egypt after scratching his name on the wall of an ancient temple in Luxor, while a mainland couple drew ire in Hong Kong for allowing their two-year-old child to defecate on a pavement.

Four China nationals were the first batch of offenders ever to be blacklisted by CNTA for throwing hot water and noodles on a Thai AirAsia attendant during a flight and threatening to blow up the plane last December.

Under the new regulations, tourists who interrupt public transportation, damage private or public property, disrespect local customs, sabotage historical exhibits or engage in gambling or pornographic activities will be blacklisted.

China has been the world's largest outbound tourist market since 2012. In 2013, Chinese tourists spent US$129 billion (S$171 billion) abroad, more than any other source country in the world, according to China Daily.