With China on holiday for International Workers Day, tourist agency managers and sociologists want Chinese tourists to learn to avoid embarrassing behavior.
Li Zhongguang, of the China Tourism Academy, believes it is time for everyone to have a global vision and think about the effects of their behavior on the world.
When the economy was still planned, traveling abroad was a luxury and subject to strict government scrutiny. The chosen few who were endorsed to see the outside world were either highly educated or very successful. These people were humble in demeanor and acutely aware what were proper ways of behaving in foreign countries, Li said.
Today, lots of Chinese can afford a trip overseas, but their knowledge remains deficient and many tourists are unaware, or claim to be unaware, that some of their habits are unacceptable to foreigners, said he.
"Chinese travelers abroad are seen as loud, rude, self-centered and lacking in self-discipline," said Li.
Zha Qizhi, deputy chief of China's Sanqing Mountain resort in Jiangxi Province, agrees. Tourists don't misbehave on purpose but are just unaware that their behavior is intolerable in other countries.
"Tourists travelling abroad for the first time lack cross-cultural communication skills. They assume things tolerated in China are also acceptable in other countries," said Zha.
Talking loudly in public spaces, spitting in the streets, ignoring the queue and carving names on ancient monuments are just as improper in China as anywhere else, but people seem to get away with it here, he said. When you do that kind of thing in a foreign country, it is completely unacceptable.
Since the government wants to improve China's soft power and cultivate a cultured and friendly national image, Chinese tourists have become a laughing stock around the world, symbolic of the whole country, Zha added.
"Chinese people are polite, hospital and thoughtful hosts, and now they need to learn to be good guests," said he.