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Chinese tourists` unsocial behavior sparks concern at home

The Chinese government has launched a campaign to curb the unsocial behavior of Chinese abroad, which has…

The Chinese government has launched a campaign to curb the unsocial behavior of Chinese abroad, which has seriously marred China`s international reputation.

With rapid economic growth, more Chinese can afford to travel abroad, on journeys that were once unimaginable. But with the foreign praise of China`s economic achievements come constant complaints about some tourists` uncouth behavior, such as making unnecessary noise in public places, spitting everywhere, and disrespect for queues.

Both overseas and domestic media have highlighted such behavior, which has caused serious concerns and hot debate among Chinese at home.

There is also another kind of disgraceful behavior among Chinese tourists. Some Chinese look down on our poor neighbors like Vietnam, which offends local people, said Liu Xiaoping, manager of Beihai Youth International Service.

In this February, Beijing Evening News launched a special page titled Say good-bye to unsocial behavior, which aroused much public reaction through phone calls, e-mails, faxes and letters.

The effective method to improve our social customs should include family education, school education, enterprise training and other kinds of education, said Professor Zhang Kaitao, of Beijing Normal University.

Due to increased complaints from both foreigners and the Chinese public, China`s travel services have stepped up efforts to reduce the possibility of embarrassments.

In addition to special courses on habits and customs in destinations before going abroad, we often tell our customers some selected stories about Chinese tourists to arouse their awareness. These efforts have paid off, according to Chen Yuzhang, director of the overseas department of China International Travel Service. We also ask guides to remind our customers during their travel, added Chen.

In 2002, the State Council published a regulation to solve possible problems of Chinese abroad. The China National Tourism Administration has informed travel services to curb Chinese tourists` unsocial behavior through cooperation with the media.

The number of approved Chinese tourism destinations has reached 28, including neighboring Asian countries, France, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Cuba, and Turkey.

The number of Chinese traveling abroad rose to 16.6 million in 2002, almost twice of that in 1998.

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