Subscribe

China launches campaign to 'name and shame' its ill-mannered tourists (+video)

If Chinese travelers open an aircraft exit door before takeoff, they might land on a new national tourism blacklist. Rectification for the nouveau riche?

China's government has just unveiled a “name and shame” blacklist of its own badly behaved tourists, part of a bid to make the country’s increasingly peripatetic holidaymakers less of an embarrassing nuisance. 

China is the world’s largest source of tourists. While most of the 107 million Chinese who traveled abroad last year do their shopping and sightseeing harmlessly enough, their rowdier compatriots “make the Chinese people blush with shame,” the National Tourism Administration said on its website.

This week the official agency put the first four tourists on its public “bad behavior” list. The most heavily punished was a domestic offender – a teenage boy whose friends had posted a photo of him sitting on the head of a statue of a Chinese revolutionary heroine.

The picture went viral on social media and drew vitriolic criticism. The young man, Li Wenchun, was condemned to 10 years on the blacklist.

The authorities have not specified exactly what it will mean to be on the list, beyond saying that the names will be passed on to the police, immigration authorities, transport companies, and banks “as necessary.” That suggests offenders might be prevented from traveling either within China or abroad.

Anywhere other than China (or perhaps North Korea), Mr. Li’s disrespect for revolutionary martyrs would likely be considered less serious than the crass and violent behavior of three other offenders. They only got 24 months on the list.

Two were punished for brawling with flight attendants on a flight from Thailand. One poured boiling water down the back of a stewardess and the other threatened to set off a bomb. The third was a passenger on another flight who displayed his impatience at a long delay by opening an emergency door as his plane was taxiing to takeoff.

Behavior that will get you on the blacklist includes violating local customs, damaging cultural relics, and indulging in gambling or pornographic activities, as well as disorderly conduct on public transport, according to the new tourism administration regulations, published on its website.

Chinese tourists have drawn attention to themselves in recent years, and not just because of their rapidly growing numbers. One young man was photographed scribbling graffiti on an ancient Egyptian temple in Luxor, and Chinese parents are notorious in many parts of the world for allowing their young children to defecate in public.

But that doesn't mean they are unwelcome. Chinese tourists now spend $164 billion a year. But by 2019 they are estimated to spend $264 billion a year, according to a report in March by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  

America expects more than seven million Chinese visitors a year by the end of the decade, spending $85 billion. It is no surprise, perhaps, that when President Obama visited Beijing last November, he announced that Chinese tourists would now be eligible for 10-year visas.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK