Foreign visitors wait at a visa-on-arrival payment counter at an airport (Antara/Nyoman Budhiana)
Nearly half of the interviewees from major overseas tourism destinations in a recent survey said that Chinese outbound tourists have improved their manners in the past five years.
The China National Tourism Administration released a report on the survey on Wednesday. The survey interviewed 3,650 people from 10 overseas tourism destinations－the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan－on the image and behavior of Chinese outbound tourists.
The results showed that nearly half of overseas interviewees said they have witnessed an improvement in Chinese tourists’ manners in the past five years. Interviewees from Indonesia, France, Singapore, the UK and the US gave positive feedback on Chinese tourists’ behaviour.
However, neighboring countries such as Japan did not, with only 18.9 per cent of Japanese interviewees saying they had witnessed an improvement.
When asked to rank the image of Chinese tourists from one to 10, overseas interviewees gave an average ranking of 5.2.
China has been the world’s largest outbound tourism market for the past four years. During the recent seven-day Spring Festival holiday, more than 6.15 million visits were made by Chinese mainland tourists to overseas destinations.
However, bad behavior of Chinese tourists has also led to criticism from many overseas tourism destinations.
The CNTA report said that “despite there being no difference in how Chinese and overseas interviewees define bad behaviour, the overall ranking of Chinese outbound tourists’ manners is not that high”.
Guo Lufang, a professor of tourism and city management at Zhejiang Gongshang University, said many Chinese tourists don’t have much experience travelling overseas or knowledge about diversified cultures.
“Sometimes Chinese tourists do not realise their behaviour is not suitable in certain cultural settings,” Guo said. “Some act in the same way when they are abroad as they do at home.”
Liu Simin, the Chinese Society for Future Studies’ vice-president of tourism, said that in addition to tightening government or industry regulations on this issue, it is also necessary to educate people about good manners from a young age, even starting from kindergarten, which would set solid foundations for education on civilized tourism.