Chinese tourists should not pick their noses in public, pee in swimming pools or steal airplane life jackets, image-conscious Chinese authorities have warned in a handbook.
A sign displays official guidelines for tourist behavior at a China Southern Airlines ticket office in Guilin, China, in 2008. Rules for outgoing tourists are listed above the rules for domestic tourists. The Chinese government has now released a civilized tourism guide with pictures to explain a long list of dos and don’ts. (Source: Chinese Campaign for Civilized Tourism, Anthropology News, 2010)
No pinch in the nose, Chinese tourists say
AFP Press Agency
BEIJING – Chinese tourists should not pick their noses in public, pee in swimming pools or steal airplane life jackets, image-conscious Chinese authorities have warned in a handbook in their latest effort to combat the unruly behavior.
The National Tourism Administration posted its 64-page guide to civilized tourism – with illustrations to accompany its list of dos and don’ts – on its website ahead of a “Golden Week” holiday that began. October 1.
As Chinese tourists increasingly travel abroad, they have developed a stereotype of “uncivilized behavior,” which Vice Premier Wang Yang said in May had “damaged the image of the people. Chinese”.
Several countries, including indebted European countries, have eased visa restrictions to attract increasingly well-off Chinese tourists, but reports have also raised complaints about the label.
A mainland Chinese woman who in February asked her son to relieve himself in a bottle at a crowded Hong Kong restaurant sparked anger online, with some residents mocking the mainland as “locusts.”
The government has already issued concise guidelines telling tourists how to behave, but the latest brochure has been put together in great detail.
He warned travelers not to pick up their noses in public, to keep their nose hairs neatly cut and, if they had to pick their teeth, never to use their fingers.
He also urged them not to use public toilets for long periods of time or to leave footprints on the toilet seat. They shouldn’t pee in swimming pools either.
Travelers should not drink soup directly from the bowl or make siphon sounds when eating noodles, he warned.
And after taking a flight, they must leave the life jackets under their seats, the regulation says, explaining that “if a dangerous situation arises, someone else will not have a life jacket.”
A tour guide by the name of Zhang who was in Hong Kong on Tuesday said his company gave him a copy of the rules at the start of the seven-day vacation in October.
Prior to that, he said they distributed a set of much shorter guidelines – which fit on a single sheet of paper.
“I think things need to be improved,” he said, standing in the town square filled with tourists from the mainland. “If we bring chaos elsewhere, it’s our image – the Chinese image – that suffers.
The manual also gave country-specific advice: Chinese visitors to Germany should only snap their fingers to wave dogs, not humans.
Spanish women should always wear earrings in public, otherwise they should be seen as actually being nude.
And diners in Japan have been ordered not to play with their clothes or hair during a meal.
A 33-year-old tourist, also known as Zhang, visiting Hong Kong from central Anhui province complained that the guidelines were too numerous and too specific.
“You can’t go through all the rules before you go on a trip. Plus, the rules are different in different places,” he said. “I think it’s not very doable.”
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