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Give Chinese overseas tourists a break [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-8-6 15:34:19 |Display all floors
We should always listen to the two sides of a story. Badmouthing Chinese overseas tourists should come to an end now.

Here's article from CD I recommend you all to read:


If China's media is to be believed, Chinese tourists visiting foreign countries have become the new "ugly Americans". Hardly a day goes by without some report of boorish and culturally insensitive behavior on the part of Chinese traveling overseas.

For example, some "rude Chinese tourist" stories published online go straight to most read articles. And this summer, photos of middle-aged Chinese-looking females dipping their feet in the Louvre fountain were splashed all over the Chinese media. Two of the accompanying headlines screamed "Foreigners dumbfounded as Chinese turn Louvre fountain into feet-washing basin" and "Chinese feet-washing army takes over Louvre".

However, bloggers in China noted that the matronly ladies in the Louvre photographs could have been from other Asian countries. And other shots taken that day at Louvre showed many Western visitors dipping their feet into the museum's fountain. Given the terrible heat wave gripping Europe this summer, these people can hardly be blamed for wanting to cool off a bit.

To be sure, many Chinese going overseas do behave as stereotypical "tourons", which stands for "tourist plus moron". They typically take package group tours which are crammed with lightening fast visits in out and of "famous" places, mainly so those making the trip can snap a quick photo and say to friends and family, "I was there."

Moreover, large numbers of the tourists visit foreign countries mainly to shop. According to Jiang Yiyi, a researcher at the Chinese Tourism Academy, cited in an Aug 17, 2012 Guardian article, some Chinese tourists spend 100,000 yuan (about $16,000) on shopping alone. And Global Blue, a shopping tourism company, notes that 20 percent of all duty-free shopping is by Chinese customers.
However, Chinese tourists are hardly unique in being dedicated shopaholics, nor do they have any monopoly when it comes to buying kitsch. In fact, an American friend who worked as New York City tour guide while attending Columbia University - this was before masses of Chinese tourists began visiting the Big Apple - once said he was "appalled at all the kitsch purchased by foreign tourists."
When instructing English at a no-name university during my first year in China, I saw a similar behavior pattern among the older American teacher colleagues. As we pulled into the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum parking lot on a group trip to Xi'an of Shaanxi province, our Chinese guide warned us not to buy the miniature soldiers hawked by local farmers, saying that they were shoddy and overpriced. But an older instructor, a 60-something lady, said not once, but twice, "Can't we just bargain them down!"

It was as if our main purpose in going there was to haggle with farmers over tacky souvenirs rather than seeing Emperor Qinshihuang's terra cotta army. For this teacher and the other older instructors, all of whom made no effort to study Mandarin or learn about Chinese culture, the big country was one big flea market for buying things on the cheap.

Despite my strong dislike for tourists, I am willing to cut Chinese tourists some slack in both the group tour and shopping areas. Unlike Western Europeans, Chinese people do not have long vacations, so seeing a lot in one short go is often done out of necessity. And thanks to import duties and high taxes, luxury goods are much less expensive to buy overseas than in China.

Thus the number of serious travelers, vs. tourists, is on the rise in China. This could not come soon enough, as Chinese tourists are creating a serious image problem for their country.

But as much as people in other places heavily visited by Chinese tourist might kvetch about the latter's conduct, they are also surely quite happy to see these visitors part with their money. Before complaining about Chinese behavior, foreigners should remember who is helping to butter their bread.
The author is an American corporate trainer in China.
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Post time 2013-8-7 12:03:53 |Display all floors
In general, I agree with your statements. The majority of Chinese tourists do not cause any trouble. They are generally well behaved and like any other tourist. Unfortunately, the few bad tourists in the bunch truly do taint the image of the entire group.  On a recent trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, I was shocked on 2 separate occasions by the behavior of a few Mainland Chinese. (They were speaking Mandarin,so they definitely not locals.) In one instance, a woman allowed her approximately 4 year old child to run around the park completely naked. The child urinated on someone's shoes while waiting in line for the Buzz Lightyear ride. The mother refused to clothe the child until park cast members told her she would have to leave the park. In another instance, a woman was shoving and cutting in front of others in line.  When a cast member told her that cutting was not allowed, she stated that she was wealthy and should be allowed to cut everyone else because they were peasants. There were thousands of people in the park that day, but the rude behavior of two individuals is what stands out in my memory of our visit to Disneyland. Is that fair to generalize all Chinese tourists as bad? Of course not, but it is difficult to erase those negative experiences.

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Post time 2013-8-7 23:13:41 |Display all floors
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Post time 2013-8-8 13:33:48 |Display all floors
I believe it is also due to the fact that many Chinese travel in group.

When you travel in group you are with a bunch of people coming from your country, they all speak the same language, and sometimes it can get noisy, even if it is unintentional.

Every country has obnoxious and rude tourists, the problem with China is it has more people than any other country, meaning it also has more obnoxious and rude people than any othercountry (in number, proportion being the same). So after that it's a matter of perception. When you have a group of 20 people in front of you and 2 of these people are misbehaving, people consider the whole group is misbehaving.
While if you have 20 people visiting the country but they are not together and only 2 of these people are misbehaving, then only 2 of these people will be considered rude and the 18 others will be consider as good tourists.

In any case, tourism is still new for most Chinese and it seems normal that they would go through thiese kinds of problems. Whenever I come across a tourist behaving improperly (whether in Europe or in China), I just mention to them that this is not proper and, usually they correct their attitude.

Of course, once again, it's easier to do when you are dealing with one person than when you are dealing with 20 people.
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Post time 2013-8-9 03:34:10 |Display all floors
MisterPanda Post time: 2013-8-7 21:33
I believe it is also due to the fact that many Chinese travel in group.

When you travel in group yo ...

you have sez it SO well  
a man who uses his hands is a laborer. one who uses his hands and his mind is a craftsman. but he who uses his hands, his mind, and his heart, is an artist...

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Post time 2013-8-9 07:37:55 |Display all floors
China technology and cities has improved,  but their culture and socially, political, yes especially politically has not.  Hong Kong residents often complain that when Mainland chinese go to HK,  they urinate (pee) on the walls in Disneyland,  don't wash hands in restrooms and leave them very messy, spit and smoke everywhere, throw trash anywhere.  Taiwan complains about the mainland visitors doing the same thing, one mainland guy even ride in the trunk of a taxi and hold his hand to close the trunk of the taxi., but he was finally caught by Taiwan police.  Culturally , politically, china is still very backwards and has not evolved.  Mainland chinese do not wait in line,  they jump infront of all those waiting in line anywhere.

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