In its latest attempt to rein in China’s notoriously unruly tourists, the country’s National Tourism Bureau, bless it, published a regulation to document instances of misbehavior by travelers, who in turn will face penalties based on the severity of the act.
The regulation, which went into effect April 6 on a trial basis, requires provincial authorities to document instances of unsavory behavior from tourists as reported by lower level authorities or through media. Tourism authorities under the State Council will then compile all the information to form a national database, according to CRI. The records will be kept on file for one to two years, and the violating tourist will face punishments ranging from administrative penalties to court sentences.
The main examples of “indecent” behavior by travelers, either domestic or abroad, are listed as:
 Interfering with the operation or safety of public vehicles, such as buses, trains, ships and airplanes.
 Damaging the environment or public facilities.
 Violating local customs or disrupting the lifestyles of those living in the vacation destination.
 Ruining historical relics.
 Participating in gambling or pornographic activities.
The effort, while commendable, will surely end fruitlessly.
China has previously attempted to encourage better behavior abroad with lengthy guidebooks for travelers that were detailed enough to include instructions about which hand to use when touching people in India (the right, FYI). And yet still, enough travelers have yet to grasp the very simple concept of not opening the emergency exit on a plane in a non-emergency.
Zhang Linyun, deputy dean of the tourism college of Beijing Union University, also pointed out that obtaining evidence in some cases would be near impossible. “Behaviour that breaches the law won’t be too difficult to define, but cases that involve morals will be,” he said, adding that such instances can only be prevented through proper education and guidance.
[Image via CRI]