China's Vice-Premier Wang Yang in May 2013 acknowledged that "uncivilised behaviour" by its citizens abroad was harming the country's image. He cited "talking loudly in public places, jaywalking, spitting and wilfully carving characters on items in scenic zones". Destination countries have been easing visa restrictions to attract more tourists from China, but reports have emerged of complaints about etiquette.
Tourists to mainland hotspots leave massive litter problem
Popular mainland tourist destinations, such as Tiananmen Square and public beaches on Hainan , reported a sharp increase in the amount of litter left behind by visitors during the holiday weekend.
Beijing sanitation workers cleared nearly eight tonnes of rubbish from Tiananmen Square on Saturday and Sunday alone - 25 per cent more than last year's record haul - Xinhua said.
The mess was so large that the city deployed 460 workers spread over three shifts to cope with the clean-up.
The Xinhua report blamed the enormous rubbish increase on good weather and the proximity of the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays, which attracted more tourists than usual.
Meanwhile, more than 50 tonnes of beer bottles, cigarette butts, food wrappers, newspapers and other rubbish was strewn across the 2.8 kilometres of Dadonghai Beach in Hainan's Sanya city. More than 600 workers toiled for two hours to clean up after the moon festival.
The widespread littering was condemned online, with commenters lamenting a decline in civic pride among the middle class, who they noted comprised most of the travellers during the "golden week" holiday.
An internet user named "Luo Shengxuan" said Sanya looked like it had been ravaged by scarecrows and locusts.
Another user named "Mingyue 8600" said the long holiday had exposed several social ills that required deep reflection by mainlanders.