Tourist behavior tarnishes Golden Week

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 9, 2013
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Li Fan from south China's Guangdong Province scrawled his and his girlfriend's names on an electronic graffiti wall at the Yellow Crane Tower, a scenic spot in Wuhan in Hubei Province.

Li then sent the graffiti to his email address through the electronic board, where he could also view graffiti written by others.

The Yellow Crane Tower's three electronic graffiti walls were set up during the National Day Holiday to address the vandalism problem that has long plagued many scenic spots in China.

The electronic walls have left the tower's ancient pillars and walls free of graffiti, and travelers were also able to use them to search for bus lines and hotel information via an Internet connection.

China's National Day holiday from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 was the first "Golden Week" long holiday since China's first tourism law took effect on Oct. 1, and many scenic spots acted to encourage "civilized" tourist behavior.

At the Huaqing Hot Springs in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, visitors were encouraged to trade in their garbage for free bottled water. Nearly one hundred bottles were offered in one morning, according to a report in Monday's Beijing Youth Daily.

The 110,000 visitors who watched the Tiananmen Square flag-raising ceremony on National Day on Oct. 1 produced only five tons of garbage, whereas 19 tons of garbage were left at the square during the May Day holiday eight years ago, according to a report published in the People's Daily on Tuesday.

However, uncivilized travel behavior was still rampant across China, despite the new law.

West Lake in Hangzhou City, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, attracted more than one million tourists on Oct. 2. On the same day, volunteers picked up more than 7,000 cigarette butts on a 1.5-km road along West Lake.

Meanwhile, a picture of Mount Namjagbarwa in the Tibet Autonomous Region posted online by a Weibo user showed a pillar scribbled with phrases like "Gu from Nanjing."

"It took away from the natural beauty of the mountain," the netizen commented.

China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday that tour guides in Shangri-La in southwest China's Yunnan Province forced tourists to spend money at scenic spots during the National Day holiday, with one tour guide even forcing tourists off a bus in a deserted area if they refused to spend.

CCTV footage showed a law-enforcement officer shouting, "Don't ever come to Shangri-la again!" at tourists who complained.

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