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Chinese authorities will keep records of “uncivilised” behaviour by its tourists, the country’s tourism bureau announced on Tuesday, in the latest measure aimed at reigning in the unruly behaviour of citizens travelling at home or abroad.

In a notice issued on its website, the National Tourism Administration announced that records of badly behaved tourists will be kept for up to two years – though no further punitive measures were announced.

Bad behaviour included violating customs, destroying infrastructure and historical sites, causing disruption on public transport and participating in gambling and prostitution.

The inappropriate behaviour of some Chinese travellers has earned the country a bad reputation around the world, to the government’s embarrassment.

“China’s image has already been tarnished,” said the notice issued on the tourism bureau’s website, adding that badly behaved tourists needed to “learn a lesson”.

Shen Haien, an associate professor of law at Beijing International Studies University, who helped draw up the new measures, told the Beijing News that they were intended to “shock” the tourists into behaving properly.

In recent months there have been a spate of embarrassing incidents. In December a flight between Bangkok and Nanjing had to turn back after a group of passengers scalded a Thai stewardess with steaming noodles and threatened to blow up the plane.

In a separate incident that same month a Chinese passenger opened the emergency exit door of a plane while it was taxiing on the runway to “get some fresh air”.

Overseas tourism has boomed in China since restrictions on foreign travel were relaxed in 2002.

Rising incomes have spurred the country’s new rich to seek novel frontiers abroad. Last year Chinese tourists spent a record $164.8 billion overseas, a 28 per cent increase from 2013.

Yet Chinese yuan is not always welcomed. The government of the Palau Islands in the Pacific Ocean is considering halving the number of chartered flights from China in order to curb the tide of tourists.

In February, over Chinese New Year, the number of Chinese visitors to the Palau Islands leapt more than 500 per cent year-on-year to nearly 11,000.

While Palau authorities stressed that the move was not intended to discriminate against any single nationality, locals were forthcoming in their criticism of the tourists’ behaviour.

“They wreck corals and throw their rubbish in the sea,” Norman, a local taxi driver, told AFP.

 

Link to The Telegraph