Chinese tourists may have a reputation for appalling manners but they are still viewed positively by some foreigners, according to a new survey.
State-owned China Radio International and the China Tourism Academy polled 1,264 residents from 23 countries and regions between March and August on their views of Chinese tourists.
Up to 23 per cent of the interviewees said littering was the “most striking form of misbehaviour” of mainland Chinese tourists, followed by jaywalking (17 per cent) and defecating in public (10 per cent), cutting queues and talking loudly, the survey said.
The survey, published on Tuesday in Beijing, said cultural differences and a lack of civility were the main reasons for the etiquette failures.
Chinese tourists were most popular among people from Argentina and Jerusalem, with all the interviewees in both places having a positive view of Chinese travellers.
However, they were less popular closer to home – only 8 per cent of interviewees from Macau said mainland tourists were welcome and 61 per cent from Mongolia agreed that the number of Chinese tourists should be “restricted”.
Different perceptions of manners, culture and traditions were three easy triggers for conflict between Chinese tourists and local residents, the report said.
“It’s similar to a romantic relationship,” academy director Dai Bin said. “As more Chinese flock to nearby countries for holidays, their imperfections are easily amplified.”
Foreigners were growing more aware of the shopping power of Chinese tourists, the report said, with 24 per cent of the interviewees saying that Chinese tourists looked at their best when they were shopping.
The survey also found that enjoying local culture, shopping and taking photographs were regarded as the three top “love-to-do” things among Chinese tourists.
Foreigners also believed that mainland tourists preferred to visit scenic spots in cities rather than going on adventure and ecological tours to countryside areas of natural beauty.
The number of Chinese travelling both domestically and abroad for leisure has soared in recent years, boosted by rising incomes and easier access to passports and visas.
According to the academy, Chinese tourists will make 120 million trips and spend 1.1 trillion yuan (HK$1.3 trillion) abroad this year.
Chinese tourists are also the frequent targets of complaints, prompting the China National Tourism Administration to launch a blacklist this year.