Chinese tourists told to behave properly

Chinese tourists look at a brochure of a tax free department store in Tokyo, Japan, on Feb 4, 2016.
Chinese tourists look at a brochure of a tax free department store in Tokyo, Japan, on Feb 4, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • Do not rush to take your luggage before the airplane stops. Do not waste food on the buffet table. Do not be noisy at scenic spots. Do not point at Buddhist sculptures.

These are some social etiquette rules to observe in Thailand, according to a brochure distributed to Chinese tourists by a travel agency in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province.

Tourist agencies and local governments are hoping that briefings and etiquette guides could help rein in the unruly behaviour that has marred the reputation of Chinese tourists.

China's three-day Labour Day holiday began on Saturday.

In recent years, Chinese tourists' misdeeds, ranging from brawls on board flights to acts of vandalism at local and overseas landmarks, have grabbed headlines.

Mr Yao Hui, an employee of Wanda Xinhangxian International Travel Agency, said the provincial tourism authorities have directed the firm to issue the etiquette guide to those travelling to Thailand.

"Tour guides must repeat the basics, such as no littering and no scrawling on landmarks," he said.

Scenic locations in the country are also expecting a surge in the number of visitors.

A cleaner at a public toilet at a scenic spot in Wuhan says she dreads the influx of tourists during holiday seasons.

The cleaner, identified by her surname Lin, told Xinhua news agency she is unable to take a break during her eight-hour shift because of the bad toilet habits of many tourists.

"Some don't even flush the toilet properly," she said.

China leads the world in outbound tourism, with more than 100 million people travelling overseas in 2014. Of those, 40 million visited Hong Kong.

But Chinese tourists continued to stay away from Hong Kong this year, a year after Beijing tightened visa requirements, limiting visitors from neighbouring Shenzhen to one rather than multiple visits a week to the city.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2016, with the headline 'Chinese tourists told to behave properly'. Print Edition | Subscribe