Sunday, 1 September 2013
Is there any truth in the rumour circulating in some Singapore circles that tourists from Mainland China will be expected to eat their in-flight meals with their fingers in the future?
The 'ruckus' has been caused by the latest incident involving Chinese tourist were they attempted to steal the "family silver". In this case 30 stainless steel cutlery sets from Singapore Airlines.
While the inflight staff may not make a fuss about the odd teaspoon that is not returned, wholesale tour group looting made the stewardesses concerned very angry; and rightly so. The boorish behaviour was compounded by the fact that having been asked to return the cutlery the group in question refused to do so, and it was only the intervention of the tour group leader that changed their mind.
Mind you having personally witnessed the eating habits of Mainland China tour groups in the Genting Highlands I am not surprised by this attitude.
As the South China Monring Post reported:
"The incident follows a number of reports this year on bad behaviour overseas by Chinese travellers. This includes a widely reported incident where a Chinese boy carved his name on a 3,000-year old precious relic during a trip to Egypt.
This prompted China’s deputy-premier Wang Yang to state publicly that Chinese tourists should improve their behaviour overseas.
He said such bad behaviour included Chinese tourists speaking loudly in public, carving characters on ancient relics, and disobeying pedestrian traffic signs.
Last year, US shopping website LivingSocial sponsored a poll which ranked the Chinese at second place, after Americans, as the “world’s worst tourists”. Some 15 per cent of respondents said Chinese tourists were the most obnoxious in the world."
It is little wonder that the 'Singapore Girl' of Singapore Airlines fame is finding it difficult to maintain her balance and composure in the face of such bad mannered and ill-disciplined passengers. But the 'Singapore Girl' of SIA poster fame is also being gracefully retired from the airline's advertising.
She is being replaced by a new tag line "The Lengths We Go To". In the light of incident with recalcitrant Mainland China passengers perhaps the slogan should be appended?
"The Lengths We Go To With China Tourists" has a certain ring of truth to it.