Opinion / From the Press

Wrong to demonize tourists

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-28 07:44

Wrong to demonize tourists

Chinese tourists visit Tokyo's Ginza district for shopping in August. Japan is the second-most popular overseas destination. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Two online posts stirred wide debate at home about Chinese tourists' behavior overseas. In one, a video showed dozens of Chinese travelers scooping up shrimps directly with their plates at a buffet in Thailand, and then leaving some plates full of shrimps on their tables after the meal. The other post showed a South Korean restaurant, whose seafood was produced in 2013, that only served Chinese tour groups.

Last year, Chinese tourists made more than 120 million trips abroad, and their destinations covered nearly every corner of the world. So it is not surprising that some unpleasant stories should emerge occasionally. But it is wrong to demonize Chinese tourists or label them as low-quality travelers who deserve inferior treatment, as some media organizations have tried to convey in the way they reported on the two posts.

In fact, it was confirmed the shrimp video was shot two years ago, and the plates filled with untouched shrimp were suspected of being placed on the table after the diners left. Many Chinese tourists, who are familiar with the restaurant, explained the travel agencies only give them half an hour for the meal, during which hundreds of tourists have to elbow their way into the restaurant, only two spatulas were provided to put the shrimps on plates.

Tourists from Japan and South Korea were also depicted as rude in the 1960s and 1970s when their economies developed and they started traveling abroad. Chinese tourists are going through similar growing pains. Their quality has improved over recent years, and they have become more aware of respecting local customs and behaving themselves. They are now attaching more importance to their experiences when traveling. Foreign businesspeople seeking to fleece Chinese travelers will finally be punished by market laws and lose the world's fastest-growing source of tourists.

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