If you were to google, “worst travelers”, you most certainly will see Chinese listed at the top or near the top. They are described as selfish, rude, obnoxious, loud, and dirty. I have seen all these descriptions from Chinese tourists first hand when traveling. Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell who is born in America and who is born in China, but all other nationalities lump us in the same category. When I see a bus full of Asians or a tour group at a major tourist attraction, I begin to cringe. I can foresee the chaos that will ensue. I’m not saying this happens all the time, but a majority of the time it does. I haven’t see anything extremely crazy like I have read on the news, ie. people urinating in public, ruining archeological sites, or pouring scalding hot water on stewardesses. When I say chaos, I mean selfie sticks galore, hocking loogies, extremely loud conversations, littering everywhere, and jostling for the perfect photo spot. It gets intense quickly, and my goal is to see everything I need to as quickly as possible to avoid the chaos.
When I encountered this problem.
My most memorable instance of bad tourism came on a bus to the Great Wall of China. My friends and I took a bus there. There were enough seats for everyone but people shoved each other to get on first. The trip got even worse, as my friends and I sat next to an older Chinese lady who ate peanuts, and de-shelled her peanuts on our laps. She didn’t even offer any to us! This was happening while people were on their phones carrying on loud conversations. When we finally got off, my friend who is Blonde was being grabbed by Chinese tourists to take pictures, as she obviously stood out. They didn’t even have the courtesy to ask.
Will this change?
I’m not saying that all Chinese tourists are like this and I have seen bad manners from other nationalities, but with such a large increase in Chinese tourism this is unavoidable. The percentage of “bad” tourists, maybe the same as many other countries, but since there are just so many more tourists from China than other countries, people take notice more. It’s a bit unfair, but that’s the perception everyone will have. You know it’s bad when the Louvre has a sign in Chinese telling tourists not to defecate on the surrounding grounds. I have yet to see a difference, but hopefully the tourism law China imposed a few years ago to curb bad behavior, and project a good image of Chinese tourists, will have an effect.