It used to be German package tourists who had a bad rep, people didn’t used to like to stay where those groups were in abundance.
In the last decade though it was “the Russians.”
Russians with new money traveling abroad and offending the sensibilities of both local customs and other travels has largely been supplanted, it seems, by Chinese. Chinese are now the world’s biggest spenders on travel.
Breakfast in a Bathrobe at the Westin Siray Bay, Phuket
Wherever I go, talking to locals in the tourism industry, I hear deep unpleasantness aimed at “the Chinese.” It’s felt so intensely that I’m practically looked upon as welcome despite Americans once being the scourge of other cultures.
Thailand has issued a good behavior guide for Chinese tourists visiting the country.
“China’s image has already been tarnished,” the China National Tourism Administration said on its website.
The actions of badly behaved tourists has caused many people to “blush with shame” and people who behaved badly overseas needed to “learn a lesson”, it added. It did not specify the nature of any punishment.
Regulators would hunt out bad behaviour through tips from local tourism bureaus, media reports and the general public.
I really don’t think this is necessary, and it actually frightens me.
The ‘hated tourist’ moniker tends to be short-lived, with one group quickly replaced by another as a result of:
- The economic cycle, already the Chinese economy appears to be slowing (and indeed, “when will China overtake America?” is far less asked now than it was just a few years ago though presumably that time is closer than it was a few years ago as Peter Thiel has observed).
- Countries get used to new waves of tourists from different places.
- Cultures become more mature as travelers.
So there’s both a convergence and a slowdown while other areas overtake the previous one in terms of xenophobic angst.