• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 12:17pm
Chinese tourists

Chinese tourists boycott Maldives resort amid claims of discrimination

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 March, 2013, 12:31pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 March, 2013, 11:07am

Cup noodle fans should think twice when booking holidays in the Maldives, according to several Chinese travel agencies. Some luxury resorts have stopped providing Chinese guests with hot water to prevent them from skipping meals and room service in favour of cup noodles.

One even allegedly coined a new interpretation for “CN” - the acronym of “China”: cup noodle, according to Zhao Jianke, a former guest service manager at The Beach House Iruveli (TBHI), a five-star resort in northern Maldives.

Anger and calls for a boycott erupted on China’s social media this week after Zhao posted claims of discriminatory practices of the resort where he worked from October last year to February.

Many potential holidaymakers say they will stop vacationing on the Indian Ocean island until TBHI offers an official apology.

Zhao Jianke told SCMP.com that staff were ordered to treat Chinese visitors differently after the appointment of a new general manager in December.

“The new manager ordered us to take away hot water kettles from Chinese guests’ rooms and keep them in European guests’ rooms,” Zhao wrote in his statement, which has been reposted more than 10,000 times on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service. 

Despite the fact that Chinese guests - particularly the elderly and couples travelling with toddlers – continually complained, the manager allegedly turned down their request to reinstall kettles, said Zhao.

He claims the manager would refer to CN as “cup noodle” in public and refused to welcome Chinese guests at the pier upon their arrival, a practise he adhered to for European guests, said Zhao.

A Chinese chef was later fired and several other staff, including Zhao, were forced to resign, he said.

An official statement from TBHI obtained by the Post on Friday dismissed the accusations as “defamatory” and denied treating Chinese guests differently.

“The Chinese market is very important for us and are always warmly welcomed to the Beach House Iruveli,” said the statement.

“The Beach House Iruveli did remove some damaged kettles from rooms as part of routine maintenance due to the fact that these kettles were damaged by guests by cooking food,” spokesperson Linda Petrie told SCMP.com on Friday.

On China’s Sina Weibo, former guests of resort shared their shock and disappointment:

“I stayed there in October last year and was very happy with everything - and I did have hot water kettle in my room,” wrote a blogger. “How could it have changed so much?”

“My parents have always had a hard time with western food when travelling overseas,” said another, “So hot tea and cup noodles always came handy.”

Other travellers have simply cancelled plans to visit the Maldives, said Jenny, a Beijing-based travel agent specialising in vacations to the island. 

Jenny is among a group of agencies which stopped recommending the resort to clients after reading Zhao’s expose. They say they would not book the island resort unless TBHI  apologises to its Chinese guests.

Jenny admitted that discriminatory treatment is “very rare” among resorts in the Maldives, which reportedly receives its largest number of tourists from China. 

Zhao’s allegations triggered heated discussions in China after several newspapers picked up the story. Many have called for a thorough investigation.

"If the allegations are true, we should stop going there," said a blogger.

It might be too early to tell if the Maldives is falling out of favour with Chinese tourists, but it has certainly given potential holidaymakers pause for thought when booking vacations.

“After the incident, my clients now all make a new request when booking resorts: no discrimination,” said Jenny. 



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This article is now closed to comments

I wish mainlanders would boycott all overseas travel frankly....
So this place will be nice and quiet? Good, I'm booking my room at this resort for Easter.
no mainlanders in maldives ? well that would be the best news i've heard in a while. It's so nice to wake up on a beautiful morning in the maldives and head to the buffet to see mainlanders hoarding food, pushing you out of the way, and talking (yelling ) to one another from one end of the room to the other on top of a myriad of atrocities that i wouldn't be able to fit in this box with my remaining 1114 characters.
Conclusion: mainland chinese are the rudest, filthiest people on planet earth today
Let's see, Hong Kong people don't want them, people in Chiang Mai, Thailand say they are rude. The Maldives sees a problem with them and people in France have also called them rude. What conclusion can we come to about this trend?
Laura Bianco
Well... In most of the Luxury resorts around the world practices something called "standards" to be honest, Chinese are noisy and their strange behavior ruins others holidays.. Sorry to say it.
So from this moment, its time for Chinese tourists to learn how to socialize with the rest of the world.
You don't know how much people out there will be glad to see this, "Chinese boycott a Resort" if you know what I mean.
However, A complete solution for this matter is to build an exclusive resort for Chinese..
No? I rest my case.. :) for good.
No mainland Chinese tourists? Hold on...gotta go call my travel agent!!
i'm stupid? how about a country that manufactures goods at cheap labour factories in the name of greed despite its dire consequences on the environment. How many fireworks factory fires can you possibly have before you learn to adapt some sort of safety measures. How many mining accidents will you have before safety is regulated. How many more bus crashes off cliffs into ravines will you have before somethings is done. How many tainted milk / food scandals/ plastic toy scandals can you possibly have in a year ? mainlanders are rude, crude, greedy, impolite, self serving, loud, obnoxious, arrogant and the list goes on and on.......... and btw how are those pigs doing ???
Racism is always there in all parts of the world. Maldivian resort workers always talk about this cup noodle thing & cooking crabs in electric jug. Most managements fail to attend Chinese needs in these luxury resorts. Understanding different culture is part of tourism and the resort staffs need to be trained to stop public relation disasters. An apology is not something the management can't afford and it takes only minutes to do it.
Is it interesting that chinese are obsessed with cup noodle that is not even invented in china and taste terrible and unhealthy? I hope this is not chinese culture....
The GM is not stupid. He is a man with integrity and high morals. A righteous man although lacking a little subtlety.
Needless to say that the general manager is so stupid, he will know how hard the resort will suffer without Chinese guests in the near future...this is a kind of discrimination, i am very disappointed about the below short sight comments, you guys should go to Mainland and see what's going on there, otherwise you always wear color glasses when you encounter issuse with Chinese.
Been there, done that, and decided not to ever go back to the mainland again even if I had to quit my job. I bear witness to the atrocious stone age behaviors and corruptions and why do you have the audacity to accuse those that have grounds to testify against these people when many have seen it with their naked eyes without wearing "color glasses"? I dare you to go out at night alone and say you feel safe, I dare you to go out flashing a Rolex or even an iPhone and I dare you to buy their local baby milk powder without hesitation and I dare you to travel without money or hospital insurance and most likely you'll be ending up dead in the streets while people taking pictures of your dying face if you do get stuck down by a vehicle... I dare you! Patronizing people with a false sense of understanding oblivious to the kind of skeletons they are hiding in their closets are at best a pretentious patriot and at worst a hypocrite. No wait, they don't hide skeletons but they wear them in their backs for public display and that's what makes them frightening. So who is short-sighted now ?
Chinese tourists are being called "****s" not just in Hong Kong. Their unconsiderated, uncivilized behaviour are universally known, despised, and downright hated. Just see so many people responded by saying they were glad to not have to mingle with the Chinese, they would expect to have a quiet holiday, and the like, it is easy to gauge the negative sentiment. Their own Preimer said, "Any small problem multipied by 1.3 billion is a big problem." Hongkongers should always identify themselves as an entirely different ethnical group and make it be known to the world that Hongkongers are NOT CHINESE.
well i have experienced some chinese tourists who use the kettles in the room to cook the hermit crabs which they collect from the beach,and the kettles cannot be used again. is not acceptable to harm these crabs..
General Manager
It doesn't matter about this list of moralistic points, the key issue is that this hotel GM treated Chinese nationals very badly, and therefore he should be removed by the Maldives Government without delay. He is a shame to the General Manager Profession, and He has a history of trouble. Based upon feedback we cancelled our intended trip to the Beach House Resort , and told others to do so too. The comments in the article above are true, and actually Beach House Resort Owner should be punished too.
@terrylichenyu Stop patronizing people with your false egalitarian rhetorics. Despite all these anti-Mainland sentiments based from factual events and you called the accusers stupid ? What are you a hippie ? Do you have superiority complex?
And get your facts straight Chinese CAN'T be a racist towards their own kind. We can discriminate their deeds, values, morals or integrity and even their regions of dwelling but never against again, our own race.
@ Alex Chan :Its' just a rhetorical statement you soph-omoric troll ! But again if I may have hurt your feelings because your biological mother or wife is from the mainland, I extend my sincere apology for beind insensitive. Nevertheless I only regard you as a victim of circumstances. *chuckle*
Juxtaposed China to a robbery in back street alleys of New York city , in the states muggers would rob you at gunpoint with a sidearm or with a knife and ask you for your Rolex whereas in China you would get knocked out cold, take your Rolex and left for dead without knowing what happened. Even criminals have a code of ethics in civilized countries.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; fool's because they have to say something - Plato -
People should be more open minded and understanding. China has been closed to the world for many years and it's natural that the behaviour standard of many Mainland Chinese is different from the rest of the world. We must also remember that under the Communist rule of the past, rouph manners and foul language were common practice of the leaders there.
This article itself is not discriminatory but a lot of the comments posted here are, what a shame!
For a hotel, the way they treated its guest, no matter where they are from whatever their cultural backgrounds are, is just not right. There are a lot better ways handling this.
Some forty years ago, Japanese tourist in HK sometimes found urinating in the street (probably from a rural background, I saw it myself more than once), none of them were taken to court by HK police. The situation was corrected by the Japanese tourist authority by simply briefing their nationals before they set off for touring to other countries. If you don't believe this, go check it out from other sources.
I worked in Rangli islanda before and the hotel will shut down without chinese people. that hotel GM is soooooo stupid ....
The problem is not that they make hot water for their cup noodles, but that they cook them directly inside the electric kettle. And not just noodles, but also seafood, crabs, soup, milk etc.
If people prefer to stick to their own cuisine while travelling, they may want to take their own cooking tools - rice cookers have frequently been cited on long-haul package tours. But of course, making elaborate meals inside a hotel room should be restricted because of safety issues and consideration for the hotel and its future guests.
Chinese tourists often fail to try out any "foreign food" preferring the (bad) cup noodles. They should learn to eat other food. Just imagine I stay here in Beijing and refuse to eat Chinese "ugly food", accepting only Belgian fries and steaks, and of course a Camembert. How insulted the Chinese hosts would be. I am now more Chinese than the average Chinese: I love all the different cuisines here, but Chinese stick often to "their" food only and can be so damned fussy (I am from XYZ and we don't eat rice, etc.). Things are changing slowly, as I see the many Chinese now eating out in Western restaurants (and visibly enjoying it). But we still have too many "farmers-eating-noodles-only". Many Chinese have really closed minds for other cultures.
LOL the conclusion is simply an emphatical fact that anywhere we travel we must stress we are Hong Kongers but not from China so we won't end up as collateral damage. Mainlanders have done it again! Kudos!
"“My parents have always had a hard time with western food when travelling overseas,” said another, “So hot tea and cup noodles always came handy.”"
I'm not sure about this as it is unbelievable fresh food and ingredients could be an issue. I watch and listen almost every cooking shows in HK on TV and radio cook shows and actually if you follow carefully they all use "chicken powder" or "chicken cube" to marinate fresh seafood, beef, pork , veg, virtually everything marinated with chicken powder by famous chinese chef. Do we have " chicken powder" a century ago in traditional chinese cooking? Chinese are loosing our culture and obsessed with another form of taste enhancer or MSG...I guess. Pleases stop boosting our cooking culture, our culture is dying....quickly.
So this is another example of vp chinese tourist obsessed with MSG..

i read some related articles in chinese. i think they were referring to mainlanders using the pot to COOK rather than using it to make hot water for cup (instant) noodles. they then damage the pots. such manner (or the lack of it) inevitably brings grievances, of course.
Man, you don't see lots of racist comments these days. And these people are actually showing off their stupidity. Emmm, interesting.
it's not NEEDLESS to say. The GM is doing the right thing as oxymoron1 stated to protect the integrity of the establishment. Sure, they can make a quick buck in the short term but only to hurt them later as guests will hear of rude mainlanders frequenting this place and over time this place would go out of business. Quality Assurance is what is more important.
Alex Chan
@ Oxymoron: You said "Been there, done that, and decided not to ever go back to the mainland again even if I had to quit my job" So did you quit your job yet? If you hate China so much then “Even I had to" is never good enough, you should have quit your job in the first place. Try to wear gold Rolex Watch and walk down the backstreet of New York and see what happened. What a Moron! Sorry you named yourself that already. LOL!!!!
I see absolutely no reason whatsoever why guests should be prevented from using a kettle to make hot water for pot noodles. The manager of TBHI was a fool.
Ever used a electric kettle? try to cook sth first before you make such assertions
I salute your understanding but it's like saying we must also embrace North Korean's war mongering regime because they have been brainwashed in the past half a century and therefore be compassionate about them and veto the sanctions imposed on them by the UN so they could continue to build a real atomic bomb and start WW3. Being sympathetic is one thing but being objectively discerning to avoid confrontation is another. There is a deeper reason or meaning why we are named SAR besides a political one.
Its better for us if china stay free from Maldives every way
I thought that's why they developed Sanya?
Laura Bianco
Beside, every room has a kettle. They didn't have electricity too you mean??? LOL This is funny..
Laura Bianco
Maldives Resorts are professional and they are the best at they do and the whole world knows this. This article seems a bit exaggerated than it should be normally..
No 1: If there is a discrimination issues, it should not come up from a "hot water" issue. Why only hot water?? and a "cup noodle" issue eh.. every one knows Chinese like their cup noodles..
No 2: As you all know, Chinese sadly has a huge language barrier (pls. don't take me offensive)
No 3: As Maldives is currently going through some domestic politics issue, this might be an aided setup made by some of the opposition members in association with the staff who was terminated.. No? you never know eh! :)
This article might be a personal frustration of the Chinese staff who was terminated because of some serious issues.. No? As far as I know Chinese tourists are well respected in this destination and has a good review by them. This article is utterly exaggerated and not trustworthy! You are ruining a the dream destination of whole world for your own personal frustration. :\
I don't think it's political. This has been boiling for long and it exploded when people involved doesn't find a solution.
it is very simple logic. Kettles are used in the hotel rooms for boiling water for the purpose of drinking tea of coffee.
The same logic applies that toilet bowels are used for bowel movements or queuing in line serves the purpose of preventing anarchy. I guess some people lack logic much less having common sense. I rest my case.
Yes, please come and experience, it will be nice
Alex Chan
The best way to identified yourself as "Hong Kong Citizens" is to tattoo such title on your forehead.
Do you sing the national anthem every morning in front of the picture of Mao Tse-tung in your family room ? That figures
and I bet you have a picture of Mao Tse-tung hanging in every room of your apartment. Living a double life must be hard.
It's the situation,
Maldives governement doesnt care for such allegations .....
with you 100% on that one !!!!
I feel so blessed that I have dual citizenships and am bilingual. Need I say more?
Alex Chan
The question is how you look? Do you look like a Chinese in the eyes of others.
Alex Chan
With due respect, visiting a country for a few days are much different from living in a country for months or perhaps years. You don’t want an upset stomach while you travel would you? So is it fair to judge them this way?
Alex Chan
But they want their money and business. So what conclusion can we come about this trend? More hypocrites and hypocrisy?
Alex Chan
Have you ever consider an upset stomach would be far worse than MSG when you are travelling abroad?


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