18 January 2020
Chinese tourists often make news for the wrong reasons while traveling abroad. Photo: Bloomberg
Chinese tourists often make news for the wrong reasons while traveling abroad. Photo: Bloomberg

Why Chinese tourists earn a bad rap overseas

Mainland Chinese tourists have earned a bad reputation overseas in recent years, with the media highlighting cases ranging from boorish behavior to improper etiquette. 

In a report analyzing the issue, Guangzhou Daily on Tuesday came up with a list of 10 things that it sees as the main problem.

1. Nouveau riche mindset: Many newly-affluent mainland Chinese tourists think money can get them anything. They have no patience in waiting for their turn to be served when they go dining or shopping.

2. Rules are for others: Mainlanders often try to skirt or ignore rules and regulations. Tourists to Zimbabwe, for instance, try to bring back as many ivory sculptures as they can by using different means, even though they know there is quota.

3. Bargain all the time: It is common to bargain to get cheaper prices in Chinese commercial culture. But people forget that many Western countries consider such practice as impolite behavior.

4. Talk loudly in public places: Westerners take care not to disturb the peace of others, but the Chinese let themselves loose in a crowd. They can’t seem to get enough excitement.

5. No respect for others’ privacy: Chinese tourists find blonde kids cute and take pictures of the children without asking permission from the parents. Another example is that mainlanders do not hesitate to take pictures of skimpily-clad foreigners sunbathing on beaches.

6. Photo obsession: Tourists focus more on taking pictures and gawking rather than relaxation. Most mainlanders want to see as many places as they can during their overseas trips, unlike Westerners who deem relaxation as the main purpose of vacation.

7. Poor hygiene: Chinese tourists are notorious for littering, throwing rubbish everywhere except in trash bins. This has led to some places even carrying special signs — “Chinese tourists please do not litter”. 

8. I want my own food: Some countries ban tourists from bringing in fresh food but Chinese tourists will still try to argue with the customs staff.

9. Lack of punctuality: Chinese tourists traveling in groups make tour schedules go awry as they become oblivious of the time when shopping. They also tend to take their own time when hotel check-out is due.

10. We’re different: Chinese tourists like to break rules even though they know they are not allowed to do so. Smoking in non-smoking areas or feeding animals is hardly given a second thought.

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