Consequences of Chinese tourists abundance
Changes in tourist destinations with the rise of Chinese tourists
Most of famous tourist destinations all around the world are now overcrowded by Chinese tourists. Any well-known tourist site you will choose, you will find a remarkable horde of Chinese tourists. It is the same in Bangkok, Thailand, in Europe or anywhere else: the Westerners tourists are becoming out-numbered by the Chinese tourists. Koreans could also be spotted in quite large numbers, with only a few Japanese. In Europe, Koreans are almost equally as numerous as the Chinese.
This would be a sign of a new distribution of wealth in the world, in the 21st century. In 2012, Chinese tourists number abroad reached 78 million, up about 20 million from just two years earlier. In 2001, this number was just 12 million. Thus, you can notice many consequences and differences when travelling.
You can find more and more services provided in tourist destinations. For instance, in Europe, there is a huge number of facilities specifically for Asian tourists: Chinese and Korean restaurants and shops are numerous, you can even find Korean Shin Ramen at the Jugfraujoch (Europe’s highest railway station in the Swiss Alps). Similarly, there are more and more tourist guides and officials who speak Chinese or Korean.
What are the consequences for the rest of tourists?
It is an evidence for people who have traveled recently and had to share some time with tourists from China: the average Chinese tourist’s manners are infuriating. Actually, Chinese tourists can be noisy, pushy, and completely unaware of what is going on when it comes to people outside their own group.
The following quote from Mark Twain “They talked loudly and coarsely and laughed boisterously when all others were so quiet and well behaved” was referring to American tourists to Europe back in 1867. Americans were seen as ‘new money’ back then, and they did not have the class and refinery of the Europeans. This quote might now ring true for Westerners concerning Chinese tourists: Westerners start to complain of their behaviour and their bad manners. This is how the Chinese are seen now compared with much of the Western world when they travel.
Many of westerners are increasingly going to have to put up with the shoving, noise, attempted queue jumping, spitting and so on.
Of course, as you probably know, Asian people have very different customs and manners, and many of westerners who have lived in Asia have probably committed cultural stumbles, so we should show some patience with the Chinese. Nevertheless, you can easily recognize the general differences between tourists coming from Far East Asia. With the exception of the Taiwanese, it is easy to distinguish Chinese from South Koreans and Japanese, obviously thanks to their language and look, physical appearance and fashion, but to their manners too. Japanese appear somewhat ahead of Chinese and Korean, and Koreans are slightly better than Chinese. This is not news to the Chinese themselves and the Chinese government. In 2006, a campaign was launched in China to inform travelers to other countries of their responsibility to watch their manners, in order to improve the image of China and to promote themselves as a great civilisation. Moreover, most Chinese tourist guides insert tips on cultural etiquette during their tours. Unfortunately, these advices are seldom considered.
On top of that, Chinese tourists prefer traveling in large groups on scheduled tours with only a short period of time to visit famous tourist sites. Thus, they rush to see what they want to and then get back on the bus. If you happen to be visiting that place at the same time, it might be overcrowded and difficult for you. Approximately 80% of Chinese tourists travel in groups, where tour companies can book cheap tickets in bulk because of high demand and bargain for hotels to get the best prices. These tours can be very stressful as quite a lot of time is spent on buses and very little time spent at each destination with the aim of seeing as many places as possible and taking a lot of photos. That is the reason why opposite trend is accelerating: more and more young and educated Chinese with English abilities would like to go abroad in smaller groups, with friends, as a couple or even solo. It is a new way to travel for young Chinese people.
How to avoid the crowds of Chinese tourists
If you cannot stand Chinese people when you travel, because of their bad manners or simply because of their large numbers, you can avoid them, although you may have to miss out on some of the most flagship tourist destinations and sights. Actually, at the moment, Chinese tourists seem to visit the most obvious and famous places. You cannot hope to feel fairly alone and uncrowded at the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum anymore, for instance, and things are becoming even worse. You should get a bit more imaginative with your travel destinations now, and prefer tourist sites and destinations less busy.
It is probably the same thing for Asian tourist: they probably avoid places around the world where they can find Westerners who are there to drink and to party as it is the case in some of the islands of South East Asia. Maybe they are trying to avoid this sort of Western tourist as much as Western tourists are trying to avoid large groups of Chinese when they are on holiday. However, the rise of Chinese travelers is set to continue and with such a large population, they could be set to dominate and over-crowd most of the famous tourist destinations and sites all around the work, if they are not doing so already. The rise of Chinese has never been more apparent than when we travel. So, it is time to find roads less traveled for a less stressful vacation.
More information about Chinese tourists:
- Top destinations for Chinese tourists
- Islands: New fashionable destination
- 4 major trends in China’s tourism industry