Chinese authorities will monitor and rank incidents of bad behavior by its tourists abroad, and share the information with tour operators and travel companies to allow them to decide if they should accept certain individuals as customers, according to the country's state media.
The program, put forward by China's National Tourism Administration (NTA), is an effort to clamp down on a number of high-profile incidents in recent years in which bad behavior by Chinese tourists abroad has repeatedly made headlines. NTA chairman Li Jinzao said that the information would be given to travel companies to allow them to decide “whether to sell the person that ticket, or whether to let them take my flight,” according to a South China Morning Post report, citing Li's appearance on state radio.
Chinese authorities have previously expressed concern at the behavior of its citizens traveling abroad. In 2013, Wang Yang, one of China's four vice premiers, said of the behavior of some Chinese tourists: "They speak loudly in public, carve characters on tourist attractions, cross the road when the traffic lights are still red, spit anywhere and [carry out] some other uncivilized behavior. It damages the image of the Chinese people and has a very bad impact," according to the Guardian.
Recent incidents of bad behavior include a Chinese couple who threw scalding water in the face of an airline stewardess, and threatened to blow up the aircraft they were traveling on from Thailand. A video of the incident went viral and was shared thousands of times on social media.
Rising incomes in China, combined with a less restrictive passport regime and a relaxation on spending restrictions, have seen the number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad skyrocket in recent years.
The new ranking system is not the first attempt that China's government has made to regulate the behavior of its citizens abroad. In 2013, the government introduced a new set of laws, primarily to regulate tour operators, including a clause advising Chinese tourists to behave well wherever they went in the world, the Economist noted.