Chinese tourists' manners improving but negative image remains: China tourism authority

Chinese tourists at Buddhist temple Wat Pho in Bangkok, Thailand.
Chinese tourists at Buddhist temple Wat Pho in Bangkok, Thailand. PHOTO: REUTERS

SUZHOU (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Nearly half of people in major tourism destinations interviewed in a recent survey said Chinese tourists have improved their manners in the past five years but overall perceptions remain negative, according to a report by China's tourism authority.

Interviewees from Indonesia, France, Singapore, Britain and the United States gave positive feedback on Chinese tourists' behaviour, said the report released by the China National Tourism Administration on Wednesday (Feb 23).

However, only 18.9 per cent of Japanese interviewees said they had witnessed an improvement.

When asked to rank the image of Chinese tourists from one to 10, overseas interviewees gave a relatively low average ranking of 5.2.

The CNTA report noted: "Despite there is no difference in how Chinese and overseas interviewees define bad behaviour, the overall ranking of Chinese outbound tourists' manners is not that high."

The survey interviewed 3,650 people from 10 of Chinese travellers' favourite overseas tourism destinations: the US, Britain, France, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan on the image and behaviour of Chinese outbound tourists.

China has been the world's largest outbound tourism market for the past four years, but their often unruly and uncouth behaviour has attracted much criticism.

Guo Lufang, a professor of tourism and city management at Zhejiang Gongshang University, said many Chinese tourists don't have much experience travelling overseas or knowledge about diversified cultures.

"Sometimes Chinese tourists do not realise their behaviour is not suitable in certain cultural settings," Guo said. "Some act in the same way when they are abroad as they do at home."

Liu Simin, the Chinese Society for Future Studies' vice-president of tourism, said in addition to tightening government or industry regulations on this issue, it is also necessary to educate people about good manners from a young age, even starting from kindergarten.