Some pesky tourist habits that hotels can do without

March 11, 2019 13:45
Mainland visitors contribute substantially to the growth of the tourism industry, but some of them have nasty habits that give headaches to their hosts. Photo: Reuters

Many countries and regions have seen a surge in their tourism industry as a result of the influx of Chinese visitors. But the coming of these big-spending, shop-till-they-drop travelers is not without its drawbacks.

According to a recent survey conducted for a Japanese TV program, an average Japanese hotel loses about 20,000 yen (US$180) a month due to theft and vandalism by guests. In one extreme case, a hotel guest spirited away the TV set in their room by packing it in a carry-on suitcase. The TV show stopped short of saying where most of these tourists come from. 

We all know that these petty thieves come in all shapes and sizes – and nationalities – but Chinese tourists inevitably become the center of attention because of their huge numbers.

And they do such nasty things not out of ill intent but simply for fun, or to collect souvenirs.

If you ask some people who run mainland hotels, they'd probably tell you that Chinese tourists don't steal, but they cause headache to the hotel management just the same.

One mainland hotelier said it is commonplace for guests to smoke inside a no-smoking room and fill the carpet with cigarette burns.

Others eat melons or have their dinner in bed, and mess the blankets and bed sheets. 

Another hotel manager complained about some guests who consume beverage from the minibar without paying. How do they do it? They simply drink the content, then pour water into the bottle and replace the cap. 

Hotel staff have grown familiar with instant cup noodles that appear unconsumed, with the plastic wrapper intact, but a closer inspection would reveal that the contents are gone. The guests simply take the noodles from the bottom of the cup.

Save for these pesky habits, Chinese tourists are just like all the others. They probably would take the comb and toothbrush, but won't touch the towels and blankets – they know those items would end up being added to their bill on checkout.

Many feel, however, that they should treat the places they visit a bit more respectfully, like they would when they stayed in their in-laws' home.

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EJ Insight writer