Chinese tourists

Communist Party's moral guardians wade into debate on Chinese tourism behaviour

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 May, 2013, 1:48pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

The Chinese Communist Party's moral guardians have united with the tourism regulators in a joint call for Chinese citizens to behave when leaving their homes to see their country and the world.

The party's Central Guidance Commission for Building Spiritual Civilisation and the China National Tourism Administration have re-issued a 128-character-long rhyme that should help tourists remember the rules of "civilised behaviour" on the road.

It reminds them to queue orderly, and not to shout and waste food. "Gambling and pornography, we resolutely oppose," the somewhat imperfect rhyme reads.

The appeal, which has circulated online, comes days after a 13-year-old boy from Nanjing wrote his name on the 3,500-year-old Luxor Temple in Egypt, starting a heated debate about the wanting behaviour of Chinese tourists abroad.

The number of Chinese tourists going abroad has ballooned to 83 million last year, from 10 million in 2000, according to the World Tourism Organisation, making the world's most populous nation also the largest contributor to international tourism.

The government also published another list of pleas for domestic tourists that is roughly twice the length in character.

Citizens are reminded not to talk too loudly in public and not to step on grass. They should not chase, hurt or feed wild animals and should boycott activities linked with "feudal superstitions". Of course, they should also reject gambling and drugs.

The two advisories come a day after Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei called on Chinese citizens to behave abroad and repeated similar calls by Vice-Premier Wang Yang.

Around the Lunar New Year, the comedy movie Lost in Thailand became an instant hit for parodying the clichéd, hapless behaviour of Chinese travellers in the Southeast Asian nation.  

In France, constant complaints could even lead French designer Thierry Gillier to reconsider a ban against Chinese tourists at his boutique Parisian hotel Zadig, which is expected to open its doors to guests next year.

Gillier was forced in September to apologise after saying he would reject Chinese tourists because many other guests "are looking for quiet hotels with a certain privacy".