Official To Chinese Tourists: ‘Be Quiet, Don’t Spit’

Chinese tourists
Kim Traynor

A senior official in China has urged Chinese tourists to improve their behavior, the South China Morning Post reports. Vice-Premier Wang Yang said the “breeding” of some Chinese tourists leaves something to be desired and there are problems with them, “talking loudly in public places, jay-walking, spitting and willfully carving characters on items in scenic zones.”

Mr. Yang is backing up his warning. He made the comments at a meeting where the Communist Party passed a law that will allow travel companies to cancel their contracts with tourists who “violate social ethics.” While the wording is vague, it basically means tour companies can send embarrassing guests home.

Needless to say, this bit of news is causing much snickering in the Western press, but personally I haven’t noticed that Chinese tourists are any ruder than any other kind of tourist. Having lived in tourism epicenters such as Madrid and Oxford, I’ve seen plenty of Chinese tour groups and never witnessed any spitting. The only bit of obnoxiousness I saw was a group walking through Oxford with a tour leader giving her spiel on a megaphone. Yeah, passing through the dreaming towers of academe with a bloody megaphone. The Oxford police must have put a stop to it because I never saw it again.

Considering that the Chinese come from a culture where international tourism is a very recent phenomenon, I think on the whole they behave quite well. As China reaches out into the world, however, the government has become increasingly image conscious, doing such PR blitzes as putting on grandiose Chinese New Year’s shows in places like the Estonian capital Tallinn, a city with only a tiny Chinese population.

So congratulations to Mr. Yang for being overly cautious. If only David Cameron would tell the English not to go on drunken stag trips. If only Barack Obama would tell Americans to not be so damn loud and arrogant. Yes, these stereotypes only apply to a small minority, but it’s those obnoxious few that we tend to remember.

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk – Ancient Rome

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 24 – Click above to watch video after the jump

Well, we got to Rome in style and now it’s time to hit the streets & explore. The city’s history spans over two and half thousand years and it seems like everywhere you go, there’s something interesting to discover.

This episode, we’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of some of Rome’s most iconic monuments & show you one of the city’s best kept secrets: the American Academy in Rome. On the couch, we’ll do an impossibly brief look at city’s history as the capital of three major eras; the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. So put on your tourist hat (we won’t tell), get your running shoes on and come check out Rome!


If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

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Hosts: Aaron Murphy-Crews, Stephen Greenwood

Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea