Hard to keep them down on the farm, after theyve seen gay Paree! What memories for those tourists.
Hard to keep them down on the farm, after they’ve seen gay Paree! What memories for those tourists. Many Destinations around the world are now celebrating and marketing to a new class of Tourists, namely those well-heeled Chinese, who have money to spend and urge to travel. However, this upsurge has not gone so smoothly, and the experience for some host Destinations has been sullied.
As eturbonews reported, Chinese tourists “…have developed a stereotype of 'uncivilised behaviour', which Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said in May 'damaged the image of the Chinese people'.” To combat this behavior, the Chinese authorities have published a handbook of instructions, regarding behaviors which might be seen as offensive in other world-wide communities, called Guidebook for Civilized Tourism.
This is a marvelous idea, trying to get ones’ arms around acceptable behavior, no matter where you are. With China still a controlled state, many of their citizens are used to being instructed in behavior, with negative response having repercussions. You can just imagine a citizen returning home from a trip with a cloud over their name, due to unacceptable behavior in Amsterdam. Dire consequences!
So, a behavior road-map as well as cultural sensitivity is not all that bad. To bring this concept home, beyond our reputation for many years as the “ugly American” abroad (probably surpassed now by any number of countries), just consider how we could apply the concept to, for example, our professional athletes. We throw wealth and glory at these young men (early 20’s) and expect them to understand their role and behavior parameters. Then, we read in the papers about their excesses and shake our collective heads. Behavior is important, particularly when representing your country. We have the Winter and Summer Olympics coming up, and I am sure our State Department and US Olympic officials spend the appropriate time with our youth, regarding acceptable behavior.
Bad behavior is not just the purview of youth. The Chinese are addressing this on a full social scale for anyone who travels, and the Guidebook is exhaustive with examples, some pithy, such as “... do not pick your nose in public, leave footprints on public toilet seats or steal life jackets”. Rules of etiquette are tough!
This is not a new topic for the Chinese government, as shown with an earlier post. Image is incredibly important on the world stage and certainly in Asia. It is easy to look at this latest effort cynically. In the broader sense, this is a leading country establishing a code of conduct for travel and behavior from which we all can learn. This goes beyond the political and becomes societal.
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
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