The Chinese president wants his countrymen to behave better while traveling abroad
During a visit to the Maldives, one of the Chinese tourists most preferred destinations Chinese president Xi Jin Ping said that Chinese tourists should set a better example while traveling.
He carried on saying that the behavior of a few harmed the whole country image and such a situation had to stop.
Chinese tourists should not leave litter after they leave nor damage natural sites like coral reefs. He strongly encouraged his fellow countrymen to leave the instant noodles and enjoy more the local food.
This statement comes as a consequence of some Chinese tourists repeated misbehaviors over the past few years that triggered a lot of criticism from the international community.
What does that mean for the image of China?
The side effect of all of this is the rise of unflattering clichés about Chinese tourists and China such as one described by an hotel manager who would say that CN, the shortcut for China meant cup noodles because of all the Chinese preferring to eat instant noodle and other cheap food to save whatever money they could.
An oddity when you think about it.
How come Chinese tourists try to save money by doing that kind of practice while they are deemed to be the biggest spenders in the world while traveling? One way or the other, with the increase in income per capita as well as the number of tourist, it is indeed very important for the Chinese leader to state this.
The Chinese leader stressed the Chinese outbound tourists coming to the Maldives to create a good image.Why? Simply because a good image is what creates great opportunities and lasting relationships between countries
With a 100 million tourists worldwide including 400000 of them going to the Maldives this year this side of tourism has to improve. This is especially important considering that the Maldives are the 10th most visited destination by Chinese tourists. Chinese outbound travelers go to more and more places: Europe, the US, Australia are a few examples of this thirst for discovery.
A tourist population that cannot be ignored :
It is a win-win situation for China and the Maldives to have tighter bonds since Chinese tourists amount to one third of the total foreign population coming to visit the islands and China may be given the opportunity to start projects of its own on Maldivian soil and have more Chinese companies investing there as well.
Xi Jin Ping asked the Maldivian president to set in motion a group of security measures to ensure the safety of the Chinese tourists when they visit the country.
In term of tourism what will it translate into? How long will it take for Chinese tourist to “improve their behaviour”. As said behaviors it is far more likely to be a lack of knowledge about what can be done and what cannot that is the cause of these behavioral problems. The problem here is that countries counting on tourism such as the Maldives may not have the time to wait for the Chinese to improve their behavior. Whether they want it or not they need the Chinese tourists to maintain their economy afloat since they are counting for 30% of their foreign tourist population. Therefore the Maldives itself can not do much about it, only the Chinese government can do something. Will it be enough? How long will it take?