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 demand payout for short wait
Mainlanders ask for 3,000 yuan and extra nights to make up for small bus and delay
Members of a mainland tour group demanded 3,000 yuan compensation each and an extra three nights' stay from a Hong Kong tour agency, saying they lost about an hour waiting for a coach.
The demand from the 11-person group came after they refused to continue the tour because of conflict with the agency, Million Dragon International Travel Company.
The company said their demands were unreasonable, but later reached an undisclosed settlement with the tourists.
The group, from Liaoning province, Hunan province and Xian city, paid 3,000 yuan (HK$3,700) each to join the five-day tour to Hong Kong and Macau.
The row blew up after the agency asked the tourists to get up early yesterday for a coach that turned out to be too small to fit them all in, one group member said. The tourist, from Liaoning, said they had to wait an hour for another coach.
Not happy with the service, the 11 people - who were to have gone to Macau - refused to leave their hotel and called the police and the Travel Industry Council.
"I felt very uncomfortable," the Liaoning tourist said, in tears. "There is rule of law in Hong Kong. [The tour agency] wants us to be punctual and scolds us if we are not. But they aren't punctual. Is that honest behaviour?"
Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung said the complainants sought 3,000 yuan each as well as three more nights in the city to compensate for the delay.
A spokeswoman for Million Dragon said their demand was unreasonable.
"They couldn't go on the first bus, so we arranged another bus but they refused to go on it," she said. "Then the group said we'd wasted an hour and asked for compensation of 3,000 yuan. How does the 3,000 yuan arise?"
She refused to give the final amount of settlement. Tung said the council would not interfere.
Seven tourists cut short the tour and returned to the mainland in the afternoon while four stayed in Hong Kong and were due to go to Macau today.
It was the first complaint to the council during the three-day Labour Day holiday.
The council imposed new rules at the end of April requiring all members to provide proof of hotel bookings before their visitors arrived.