Chinese sightseers abroad have been called upon by their government to “take note of their behavior” and “act civilized” while traveling, as part of a national convention that was implemented on Tuesday, Xinhua reports.
The convention, a set of detailed regulations compiled by the National Tourism Administration, states that “Being a civilized tourist is the obligation of each resident,” specifically adding that “protecting cultural relics” is of great importance.
The convention rejects behaviors such as doodling on, or carving characters into, ancient relics, as well as climbing or touching cultural relics. Photos can only be taken of relics when allowed by local regulations, according to the convention.
It also promotes seven other norms to be followed by residents, including maintaining a clean environment, complying with public orders, protecting ecology, protecting public infrastructure and utilities, respecting other people’s rights, showing courtesy to others and seeking appropriate entertainment.
The regulations were released days after it was exposed on social media that a young man from Nanjing had scratched his name into the wall of the 3,500 year old Luxor temple in Egypt while on vacation, causing widespread uproar among Chinese citizens.
This month, vice premier Wang Yang also condemned Chinese tourists for damaging the country’s image abroad with behavior such as “talking loudly in public places, jay-walking, spitting and willfully carving characters on items in scenic zones”.
Wang blamed the behavior on Chinese tourists’ low “quality and breeding”.
While “uncivilized behavior” abroad is obviously a problem applicable to tourists from every country, Danwei reports that within China, the defacement and graffiti-ing of landmarks is fairly common:
What is certain, however, is that there is a problem with Chinese tourists, both those travelling internally in China as well as abroad. In light of the infamous “I was here” graffito in the Luxor temple, the front page of the Spring City Evening News (春城晚报) from Yunnan province today reports on what it calls the scourge of “Chinese Style I was here”, which – as the paper informs us today – is all over the scenic areas in the beautiful province of Yunnan.
Don’t worry China, Americans are still officially considered the shittiest tourists in the world, according to this survey released by LivingSocial, which ranked Americans as the number one worst-behaved travelers abroad (no matter what Henry Blodget thinks).
[By Katie Nelson // Image credit: @immmu]