(Xinhua file photo)
Chinese tourist agencies and local authorities are hoping that lectures given to tourists ahead of the May Day holiday can avoid the unruly behavior for which the country's travelers and sightseers have become notorious.
In recent years, Chinese tourists' misdeeds ranging from brawling on flights to defacing landmarks at home and abroad have made headlines, sparking angry discussion over the disparity between their bulging wallets and their behavior.
In Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, Wanda Xinhangxian International Travel Agency gave clients who paid for a group trip to Thailand during the holiday a lesson in etiquette. "Don't rush to take your luggage before the airplane stops. Don't waste food on the buffet table. Don't be noisy at scenic spots. Don't point at Buddhist sculptures...," read promotional material.
The company's Yao Hui said the lessons were required under a directive from provincial tourism authorities.
"Tour guides must repeat the basics, such as no littering and no scrawling on landmarks," Yao said.
Hubei authorities are also watching incoming tourists as the province is a popular tourist destination known for natural wonder including the Three Gorges and Wudang Mountains.
Last week, the provincial tourism department launched a campaign encouraging sightseers to send photos and videos of misbehaving tourists to its WeChat account, promising to name and shame anyone whose identities can be verified in the images.
A cleaner, who wished to be identified by her surname Lin, in a public bathroom at a scenic spot in Wuhan, said she awaits the influx of tourists during holiday seasons with dread.
Lin complained that she is generally unable to take a break during an eight-hour holiday shift because of many toilet users' bad habits. "Some don't even flush the toilet properly," she said.
China rolled out a national tourism law in 2013. As well as regulating tourist behavior, it also covered wrongdoing by tour guides and business owners around tourism sites. This too has made headlines.
In one high-profile case from October 2015, the coastal city of Qingdao lost face as a tourist destination after a traveler ordered a dish of prawns that appeared to be priced at 38 yuan (5.8 U.S. dollars) on the menu, but was later told the price tag was for each prawn.
To solve similar disputes, Guizhou Province on Thursday opened specialist courts at 12 tourist attractions.
In Shandong Province's Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, officials have promised that tour guides will be blacklisted for dodgy practices including coercing tourists to make purchases from shops or asking shops for kickbacks.