Following a number of embarrassing incidents in recent years, Chinese tourists have gained a reputation for destruction that often precedes them, which explains why when photos of unidentified Asian tourists causing havoc on a tropical beach go viral, Chinese tourists are instantly blamed.
The viral images, posted onto Facebook earlier this month, show a group of smiling tourists posing for photos in swimwear at a beautiful beach while also clutching onto some of the local marine life, including starfish and coral.
While the exact location of the beach has not been determined. It’s believed that the photo shoot took place on a beach in Malaysia, perhaps at the diving haven of Semporna in the Sabah State.
In the photos, one of the women is seen holding up a blue-and-white sign with the message “You Should Be Here” — a tagline for the Malaysia-based WorldVentures travel club.
However, WorldVentures told the New Straits Times that they hadn’t organized the trip and guessed that some members of the travel club might have arranged it themselves, adding that the club places top priority on conserving and preserving the marine habitat.
Either way, the tourists’ behavior shocked local divers, according to the New Straits Times. “Sea creatures should be respected. As ‘visitors’ in their habitat, we should not simply touch anything under the water, let alone take it out to pose with for pictures,” said one diver. “Such behavior would stress the starfish and even the corals, which might cause them to die.”
“We are not supposed to touch corals, as our hands are contaminated with bacteria, which can kill them, as they are very sensitive,” another diver concurred. “We are supposed to protect them, and such behavior could damage the ecosystem.”
While the photos have outraged Facebook users, causing them to curse the ignorance and/or stupidity of the “Chinese tourists,” so far, there isn’t any actual evidence that the tourists in the photos are from China.
Earlier this year, pictures of a large group of Asian tourists frolicking naked at night on the sands of a Hua Hin beach in Thailand went viral on the Internet and locals quickly jumped to the conclusion that the “immoral” tourists must be from China. Nope, turns out they were Japanese.
Following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to Beijing in March 2014, Malaysia has been trying hard to win back Chinese tourists with new visa arrangements and a greater number of direct flights. That effort seems to be paying off with more and more Chinese tourists returning to Malaysia in droves.
Of course, as residents of the South Korean resort island of Jeju know, that also means an increase in “bad behavior.” Around this time last year, outrage erupted online after a series of nude photos featuring Chinese tourists on a Malaysian beach leaked onto the internet for all to see.
[Images via Facebook]