China calls on citizens to behave as 'civilized tourists'
POSTED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 12:04am
CNN — (CNN) -- Doodling on ancient relics is not acceptable behavior. This declaration is part of a national convention posted Tuesday on the Chinese central government's website.
According to state news agency Xinhua, the detailed regulations also prohibit climbing on or touching ancient relics or carving into them.
The renewed call for citizens to behave as civilized tourists comes after a Chinese teenager defaced a sculpture in an ancient Egyptian temple, sparking outrage in Egypt and China.
The regulations issued by the National Tourism Administration also call on travelers to follow public orders, protect ecology, public infrastructure and utilities, maintain a clean environment, respect the rights of others and show them courtesy, Xinhua reported. Travelers should also seek appropriate entertainment, according to the guidelines.
The parents of the 15-year-old Chinese tourist have apologized since the vandal carved 'Ding Jinhao was here' in Chinese in the 3,500 year old Luxor Temple.
This was photographed by an embarrassed Chinese traveler and shared on weibo, China's micro-blogging site on May 24.
The act generated a massive online backlash amongst China's unforgiving netizens.
"The saddest moment in Egypt. I'm so embarrassed that I want to hide myself. I said to the Egyptian tour guide, 'I'm really sorry,' " that traveler wrote on the original weibo post.
It didn't take long -- actually, just a day -- before outraged netizens tracked down Ding in Nanjing.
Slammed online and exposed further in the mainstream, Ding's parents quickly contacted media outlets.
"We want to apologize to the Egyptian people and to people who have paid attention to this case across China," Ding's mother said in a China Daily report.
Ding's parents said they shouldered the responsibility of what their son did, adding he had learned his lesson.
"Reading this disastrous news this morning is heartbreaking. I despise this behavior, especially in Egypt -- the place I love. Now, I just want to say 'Sorry' to Egypt," commented weibo user "Net bug jing jing."
"It's a disgrace to our entire race!" said another angry micro-blogger.
In a state-run Xinhua media report, one of the agency's photographers said local Egyptian staff had worked to try and clean the sculpture. While there was some improvement, the graffiti could not be totally removed.
Outbound Chinese tourism has expanded rapidly in recent years. In 2012, Chinese overtook Americans and Germans as the world's top international tourism spenders, with 83 million people spending a record $102 billion on international tourism.
That growth has brought with it a backlash in some industry sectors.
Earlier this month, Beijing called on its nation's tourists to improve their behavior, with Vice Premier Wang Yang stating it was important to project a good image of Chinese tourists.