Chinese tourists and manners

Photo from The Economist

A blogpost from The Economist discussed how Chinese tourists are vilified for bad behaviour. An example is the international incident caused by a teenager carving graffiti at a temple in Luxor.

The Economist writes: In Paris, … polite French-speaking Chinese guides shepherd their flocks through the sites, apologising when any of their charges bumps into others… Spitting, shouting and sloppy bathroom etiquette have made the Chinese look like the world’s rudest new tourists, from London to Taipei and beyond.

It is accepted that in big cities, it is not uncommon for people to bump into others. This is inevitable and accidental. However, accidentally bumping into someone does require an apology. It should not be left to the tour guides to apologise on behalf of the tourists. For many of us, uttering a little ‘sorry’ when unintentionally knocking into someone is instinctive.

The Chinese government has placed new regulation to educate and inform tourists. “The new tourism law points out the problem and reaffirms the principle, as a way to further remind Chinese people to pay attention to their behaviours when they travel.” 

My advice to China’s new travel elite: just as it has always been, when in Rome…

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