Aug 04, 2016

    Unruly Chinese may not be able to travel abroad


    CHINESE tourists on the country's blacklist because of uncivilised behaviour will face restrictions when taking flights, joining travel groups or even taking overseas trips, under a revised draft of travel regulations released on Monday.

    Provincial and national tourism authorities can maintain records and share them with the public, travel agencies and industry organisations.

    Records can also be shared with government agencies responsible for public security, customs, inspection and quarantine, border protection, transportation and finance.

    "Punishments can be imposed by travel agencies or other related agencies or organisations based on the record," according to the revised draft.

    The latter is in its public comment phase.

    A few ugly incidents involving Chinese tourists have triggered negative reactions.

    The China National Tourism Administration introduced a measure in April last year to control tourist behaviour by keeping records of such conduct.

    So far, 19 people have been named.

    According to the administration, examples of bad behaviour include violating order on public transport - including flights, damaging public facilities or historical relics, ignoring social norms at tourism spots and becoming involved with gambling or prostitution.

    Chinese tourists have long been asked to dress modestly in public, avoid coughing in other people's faces and refrain from pressuring foreigners to pose for photos with them.

    Liu Simin, vice-president of the tourism branch of the China Society for Futures Studies, said the blacklist may not work as effectively in practice as it was envisioned to do.

    "It is not that difficult to introduce restrictive measures on flights.

    "However, if tourism authorities want to restrict blacklisted tourists from travelling overseas, they can only do this through travel agencies.

    "If travellers plan their own trips and skip the agencies, they are out of reach," he noted.

    The proposed regulation also addresses some major concerns in recent years, including hidden traps set up by travel agencies and false information on travel websites.

    For outbound travel groups, the revised draft requires people to carry a card filled out with personal information, disease history and emergency contacts.

    Zhang Hui, who works at an advertising agency in Shanghai, said the government should do more after revising the regulation to fully protect tourists' safety and rights.

    "I am very pleased to see the new draft supports us in getting a refund if we are forced to purchase goods during a trip," she noted.

    "However, it may be very difficult for tourists to prove that the tour guide pressured us to buy.

    "We can't always take videos or make recordings."