China’s tourism industry leaders launched a campaign on Thursday, calling for an end to vulgar behavior especially when traveling abroad.
“With this initiative, I hope we can convince more people in this country to honor good manners and renounce bad behavior,” said Yu Ningning, general manager of China International Travel Service (CITS), a major industry leader.
The campaign comes as media reports of several scandals have sparked widespread outcry against irresponsible Chinese tourists.
In May, a Chinese teenager was reported to have left graffiti on an ancient Egyptian temple, drawing ire in both Egypt and China.
In September 2012, a Swiss International Airlines plane from Zurich to Beijing was forced to turn back after two Chinese passengers fought onboard.
These incidents prompted the central government’s tourism administration to issue new guidelines, which singled out acts like littering, vandalism, speaking loud in public, and not respecting local customs as “particularly vulgar”.
At a conference on Wednesday, the Communist Party of China (CPC) publicity head Liu Qibao ordered better public education and a tightening of public supervision to raise awareness of polite tourist behavior and public ethics.
Liu also asked the media to play supervisory roles and to create a social environment in which polite tourist behavior is advocated, in a bid to project a good image of China and to boost the country’s soft power.
More than 83 million Chinese people traveled abroad in 2012, more than eight times the number in 2000. The total spending of outbound Chinese tourists hit 98 billion U.S. dollars.
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