Those of you who have not spent much time travelling with mainland tourist in China or abroad may say “Has Money but Not Manners” is racist and undeserved. Unfortunately in so many cases, this title is well deserved. There are a lot of well mannered, sophisticated and polite Chinese tourists who are a delight to travel with but there are many (too many) who downright obnoxious. If you want proof, join a low budget tour group of mainland Chinese travelling to Hong Kong
The most recent incident involves a Thai model at the Jeju airport in South Korean airport who took a video rant of the incident. The Thai models was waiting in an orderly queue at a tax refund booth when a crowd of Chinese tourists descended upon the queue and ignored people waiting. The model was pushed, had her hair pulled and her feet stepped on.
You can view that video and the crowd of Chinese tourist resembling a biblical swarm of locusts here
Other recent negative incidents involving Chinese tourists abroad included
-a 15 year old Chinese tourist was caught etching their name on part of a 3,500 year old temple in Egypt
-in February 2015 a Chinese tourist was caught airing her underwear on the chairs in Chang Mai airport
-Earlier in 2015 Chinese tourist were banned from a temple in Chang Rai because they left the toilets in an “unwelcoming” condition
-In December 2014 a Thai AirAsia flight was turned back after four unruly Chinese passengers argued with a flight attendant, scalded her by throwing hot water and noodles at her then threatened to blow the plane up
-Since December 2014 three Chinese tourists have been involved in three incidents where they are accused of opening the emergency exit doors and causing flights to be delayed. In the most recent case, the Chinese tourist thought the emergency door was a hand rail. Yeah right.
The Chinese government admits the travel etiquette if its citizens is somewhat lacking and the Chinese National Tourism Administration has published a 64 page guide book for civilized tourism. What are the odds of your average bad mannered Chinese tourist getting past page one? Not high.
Last year while in the Maldives, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered the following advice to his countrymen: "Do not leave water bottles everywhere. Do not damage coral reefs. Eat less instant noodles and more local seafood."
Interesting Newspaper Article
Earlier this month a Chinese writer Tiara Lin published an essay in China’s Global Times Newspaper that is both entertaining and provides an interesting insight to the bad behaviour of Chinese tourists. The article is listed below.
“What's up with Chinese tourists? One has made international headlines by throwing hot water and noodles at a Thai flight attendant before threatening to blow up the plane; another carved his name into a 3,500-year-old Egyptian temple; yet more have recently been accused of "terrorizing" penguins after insisting on having their wedding photos taken in the South Pole.
Why are Chinese tourists so insufferable? Let's take my 56-year-old mother as a case study. My mother fits the profile for an "uncivilized" Chinese tourist. She grew up in a big family with seven siblings, and worked in a State-owned restaurant serving hundreds of comrades at a time during busy services. The only way she could make herself heard was by shouting over the din, so her "normal tone of voice" would be considered a few decibels too loud overseas. When I speak to her over the phone, I have to dangle the cell phone half a meter away from my ear to avoid hearing damage.
Like most Chinese tourists who make headlines, my mother has money, but not manners. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Chinese tourists have overtaken Americans and Germans as the world's biggest spenders when traveling, blowing a record $102 billion on international tourism in 2012. Every time my mother goes abroad, which is once or twice per year, I have my fingers crossed that she won't make international headlines.
Despite having money, my mother is reluctant to spend money. Like many people from the older generation, she especially does not want to spend too much money on traveling. She usually waits for deals like "5,000 yuan ($799.5) all expenses covered" trips that are meant to attract low-end tourists.
On these trips, my mother is usually accompanied by other Chinese women like her. With solidarity in numbers, they feel comfortable behaving just the way they would if they were at home: allowing children to pee on the street, spitting on the ground and cutting in lines.
So, what can we do to reduce the culture clash between "uncivilized" Chinese tourists like my mother and the outside world? I think the most important factor is education. Recently, the China National Tourism Administration published a 64-page guidebook to teach Chinese people how to behave properly oversees. Such an approach however, is sure to miss its target audience, if my mother is anything to go by. A guidebook would only put her to sleep.
So instead, I decided to adopt my own tactics. I did an experiment on my mother using the carrot and stick approach. I told her that if she behaves well, I will sponsor her next trip abroad.
It didn't stop her from spitting on the ground while we were in Hong Kong. Yet she still insisted that I sponsor her trip because I am her only daughter.
After that failed attempt, I tried the stick approach.
I told her that anyone caught spitting in the street in Hong Kong will soon face an HK$1,500 fine.
"That's a lot of money!" she complained and immediately stopped spitting.”