Good tourists to improve China's image abroad
Updated: 2016-09-27 11:35
China has launched a program to promote stories of well-behaved outbound Chinese tourists in an effort to improve overseas images of Chinese world travelers.
The search for "Good Chinese Tourists", hosted by the China National Tourism Administration, China's leading online travel agency Ctrip and the country's first national English newspaper China Daily, launched in Beijing on Tuesday.
China's tourism industry, which has seen rapid growth, has become an influencing force in the world, Wang Xiaofeng, vice chairman of the China National Tourism Administration said.
Statistics show that more than 59 million Chinese took overseas trips in the first half of this year. And it is predicted that the number of outbound travelers will surpass 600 million in the next five years.
"The behavior of Chinese [outbound] tourists is one of the important parameters to gauge the national soft power," Wang said, adding that to discover and praise good behavior and promote the stories of Chinese tourists could set a shining example for other Chinese tourists.
Qu Yingpu, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily pointed out that tourism is about the transmission of cultural messages in the sense of communication.
Qu Yingpu, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily, speaks at the launching ceremony in Beijing, Sept 27, 2016. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]
"Each Chinese outbound tourist's acts will exert intangible influence on China's image in the minds of people in other countries," Qu said.
Qu hopes that every selected person in the "Good Chinese Tourists" program could become the ambassador of China and its culture, who can also be the best storyteller of China.
"Ctrip pays much attention to what role Chinese outbound tourists can play in spreading civilization and enhancing friendship," said Chen Zhenyu, representative from Ctrip and CEO of Qunar. Ctrip holds 45 percent of the stock of Qunar, another online travel agency.
"The Chinese tourists have shown the world their more civilized behaviors," Chen said, by citing an example of a Chinese tourist in Japan collecting garbage.
Xiong Jiawen, a frequent traveler, said she believes a good tourist has to think of him or herself as a local, by tasting local delicacies or having home stays, but most importantly, he or she should love the culture as the locals do and contribute his or her part to preserve the scenic attractions.
"Travels have taught me to show respect to others' culture. Travel should make us more open-minded rather than selfish. More people should join hands with us to be good tourists and have better travel experiences," Xiong said.
The China National Tourism Administration started the campaign "Good Chinese Tourists" in 2015.
The administration is expected to cooperate with large travel agencies and the media in search for good examples of Chinese outbound tourists this year.
Through different channels published by the administration, the public can also recommend good examples that could be promoted on mainstream media.
A survey will also be launched to solicit opinions on the behavior and images of Chinese tourists. The survey will target outbound Chinese tourists and permanent residents of overseas destinations that Chinese tourists visit.
A report on the images of Chinese tourists will later be released on the basis of the survey.