In the light of recent events in multiple regions, the China Embassy in the United States reminds Chinese citizens of the continued need to implement sound personal security practices as you go about your daily lives.
Chinese citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security:
• Report suspicious behavior to local authorities.
• Exercise caution in public transportation systems, sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worships, schools, public areas, shopping malls, and other tourist destinations.
• Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
If you need emergency assistance from the China Embassy, please call:
• Consulate General in New York: 212-695-3125
• Consulate General in San Francisco: 415-216-8525
• The Global Emergency Call Center for Consular Protection and Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: 0086-10-12308 or 0086-10-59913991
China’s outbound tourism market continues to grow, with nearly 100 million overseas trips to 150 countries and regions in 2013, and 110 million Chinese travelers expected to travel abroad in 2014.
China President Xi Jinping recently commented on Chinese travelers’ behavior abroad, urging his country’s people to be respectful world travelers. Of China’s growing number of tourists he noted: “Don’t litter water bottles, don’t destroy their coral reef…” and joked “Eat less instant noodles and more local seafood.”
Efforts to instill better behavior among Chinese tourists continue to ensure the best possible global experience. In 2006, the China National Tourism Administration issued manuals on proper behavior for Chinese citizens traveling abroad, which sought to remind travelers of the importance of complying with local etiquette and avoiding inappropriate behaviors.
Chinese citizens traveling should honor their own national identity, but observe the local standards of propriety.
Protect the environment. Don’t litter. Dress appropriately. Don’t yell or talk loudly.
Respect the elderly, be mindful of children, and be ready to help others in need. Follow the custom of “ladies first” and “after you, please” for all others.
Keep track of the time difference and arrive at appointments on time. Wait in line for your turn and stand behind the yellow line as needed. Give others ample personal space.
Be a polite guest when staying in a hotel or other accommodation. Don’t damage objects in hotel rooms. Wine and dine quietly, and don’t waste food.
Seek out cultured and healthy entertainment, and say no to pornography, gambling and drugs.
Follow the rules and directions on sightseeing tours. Be careful to observe the local customs or taboos. Don’t violate rules or offend local customs.
When in doubt, make inquiries to the local Chinese embassy or consulate. Be a responsible traveler and enjoy a safe and pleasant trip.
China’s tourism industry has also become involved in the efforts for Chinese tourists to behave overseas. A proposal was issued by the China International Travel Service (CITS) on behalf of the industry on July 31, 2013, calling for good manners for tourists and tour guides. Here is an excerpt from that report:
Chinese Citizen Civilized Travel Abroad Proposal
More than 83 million Chinese tourists traveled abroad in 2012, making China one of the world’s fastest growing countries in outbound tourism. Becoming ambassadors while abroad, travelers’ behaviors represent the image of the country and its people, thus it is very important to practice civilized travel after crossing the border. It is every traveler and every tour guide’s responsibility to enhance the awareness of civilized travel abroad, to improve the citizens’ civilization quality, and to build a good image of Chinese tourists. In an active response to President Xi Jinping’s call of good behavior while traveling abroad, we, on behalf of all outbound tourists, tour guides and other tourism industry practitioners, propose the following initiatives:
Tourism industry practitioners must take the lead to perform their duties responsibly. All outbound travel agents, team leaders and tour guides must follow the “Tourism Etiquette Rules for Chinese Citizens Travelling Abroad” issued by the China National Tourism Administration to make good examples for outbound tourists. Each of the practitioners must maintain the highest ethical and professional standards, obeying the laws and abiding the contract. The practitioners also need to perform their duties to guide tourists with civilized behaviors, including the explanation and necessary training before the trip, reminding constantly during the trip and improvement report after the trip. Tour guides must timely stop tourists from uncivilized behaviors, and encourage tourists to practice and communicate in Chinese civilized demeanors.
All tourists traveling abroad must understand and follow the standards of propriety and make the tours civilized. All Chinese tourists, once passing the border, not only represent themselves, but also show the image of China and Chinese people. Every tourist must abide by the law and the social morality etiquette, protect the environment, and respect the local cultures and customs of the travel destinations. The more civilized demeanors from the tourists, the better self and country images.
It needs a joint effort from all communities to make the civilized travel a new trend. With the boom of the Chinese outbound tourism, Chinese tourists have a huge impact on travel destination’s social, economic and environmental aspects. Thus it is vital for all sectors of the society to work together to facilitate a civilized tourism environment. To promote the good behaviors and to avoid bad ones, individuals and communities are empowered to say “no” to any demeanors that undermine China’s image and that are contrary to public morals. The trend of the new civilized tourism needs public support and oversight.
Chinese are traveling abroad to see the world, and the world is also watching China. Let’s act now, start from me, start from the trifles, to improve the quality of outbound tourism, to show Chinese civilization, and to contribute making China a better country.
China International Travel Service
July 31, 2013