The Ten Characteristics of Chinese Tourists Print
Real China

The bad reputation of Chinese tourists overseas is not news anymore, but the news of Chinese tourists carving on the Egyptian temple attracted many echos of complaint from tourist guides who serve Chinese tourists overseas.  

One Dutch tourist guide who always serves the Chinese tourist's group on the Egypt tour and who has a doctorate in Chinese history was reduced to tears when he summed up the ten characteristics of Chinese tourists.

  • Chinese tourists lack culture awareness. It is not because their foreign language is not good enough, but they don't have the patience or desire to listen, but prefer to stay together and make noise. What they look for in a British museum is Chinese ceramics, and the artworks of Zhang Daqian and Qi Baishi in the Louvre. They don't have any interest in other cultures.
  • When Chinese tourists visit a foreign museum, the guide should be careful in regard to several things:  first stop them from using flash-lights while taking photos; second, keep them from touching the artworks in the museum; third, warn them not to crowd others out when taking photos.
  • It seems that the most important thing for Chinese tourists is money, so when they saw the Chinese ceramics in the British Museum, they kept on debating about how much it's worth and even made comparisons with the auction prices of similar products in China. However, if you asked them the differences between the ceramics of the Song dynasty and the ceramics of the Yuan dynasty, they rarely know the answer.
  • Chinese tourists like to take photos, and no matter where they are, and whether they had other's permission or not, they 'll take photos of local strangers or local premises. Some Chinese tourists even explained that, "We Chinese never really care about other's privacy, and have never been respecting other's privacy, so of course we will act here in the same way."
  • When the guide introduces the local culture, they like to boast how much older Chinese culture is compared to the local culture; when they visit the most classic monuments in Europe and the Middle East, they are busy taking their own photos and after that they stay together playing cards. So the reason for them to visit these classic monuments is merely a wish "to have been there";  they are not intellectual, not spiritual, and for them it is merely a superficial touring. The Chinese tourists also know very little about western religion, so they can hardly understand the Italian culture of heavenly portrayals, or appreciate the great art-works of Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
  • Chinese tourists are not only contemptuous to regulations of foreign countries, but also contemptuous to the regulations of their own country. For example, once an American guide took a Chinese tourist group to visit Zhang jiajie ; he saw a man crossing the railing to take a photo, so he reminded him that it was illegal, but it turned out the American guide was followed for quite a long time, and was punched by the man from behind when nobody was around and the man then ran away immediately. So this Chinese not only disobeyed the rules, but was also a coward.
  • When it comes to the delay of American airlines, it is indeed very poor, however, the responses of the American tourists and Chinese tourists are quite different. The American tourists complain in low voice, they are more concerned about how to solve the problem; if they don't have any answers, they would just wait patiently and mutter the complaint to themselves. However, Chinese tourists who normally pretend to be very good in front of their officials like to look very brave at the American airport and openly demonstrate their disgust with the situation.
  • It is true that less and less Chinese people are spitting publically these days, but they sometimes publically pull off their socks and eat with their heels resting on a chair, or noisily swallow food, or sneeze loudly without covering their mouth, and Chinese children are allowed to do wees everywhere. Furthermore, no matter how many times it is mentioned to them, they don't seem to care.
  • Chinese tourists may be very generous when purchasing luxury goods, however, they are very stingy with service tips. Many tourist guides know this characteristic of Chinese tourists, so they secretly delete a lot of wonderful tourist destinations and some presentations. Some guides even directly bring them to stores to go shopping, instead of taking them on an excursion. The quality of the tourist experience is thereby vastly reduced and the matter seems to be getting worse.
  • The etiquette of Chinese tourists is very poor. With the rise in value of Chinese currency overseas, while deprecated at home, more and more Chinese travel overseas. However, the basic quality of Chinese people is a shame to the old country with its 5000 year ancient civilization. It is true that China has a very long history, but Chinese people's civility of nowadays is rather deplorable, which shows itself in no uncertain terms when Chinese travel overseas.

Confucius Weeping in Heaven

Westerners used to have an image of China as a country steeped in the Confucian way of life where the principles of propriety, reverence, courtesy, goodness and benevolence were held in high esteem. These, though, are just the qualities that are lacking observing Chinese tourists. What has gone wrong? The problem is that the old China has made way for the new China where everything has been reversed. Since the Cultural Revolution what was once regarded as good is now regarded as bad, and what once regarded as bad is now regarded as good. Chinese tourists only reflect the philosophy of the totalitarian regime under which strict rule they have to live and were brought up in. They are not bad people, but unfortunately they don't know any better. It is time that the new makes way for the old again and Chinese people can return to the values of old that they had to abandon by force.