Chinese travelers should ‘just say no’ if corrupt overseas border officials seek tips

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/26 22:03:40

With the boom of outbound tourism, Chinese travelers need to show their determination and courage and directly refuse if they are asked to tip local officials in Southeast Asian countries.

Customs officials and border guards in some of these countries have made headline news from time to time as they reportedly charge Chinese tourists tips for exit and entry stamps. This renewed heated discussion in China in recent days as people talked about their holiday travel after returning from the week-long Spring Festival.

As the living standards of Chinese people improve, more Chinese tourists are happy to give tips to hotel porters who carry luggage to their rooms or other people offering help. However, that doesn't mean Chinese tourists should encourage customs officials or people working for public service groups to charge tips.

China's outbound tourism continued to surge during this year's festival, with 6.5 million overseas trips, and one of the top destinations was Southeast Asia.

If each Chinese tourist pays just 10 yuan ($1.6) as a tip to customs officials in those countries, the total will be amazing. This will create a significant source of corruption for local officials.

The government may need to provide support to travelers if they refuse to tip local officials in Southeast Asian countries. Chinese authorities can make a list of the customs posts that usually charge Chinese tourists tips for exit and entry, and then coordinate with those countries' governments to make joint efforts in preventing and fighting corruption.

Chinese diplomatic missions in those countries can also issue warnings for Chinese tourists abroad to remind them to resist unjustified tips.

Such efforts will help those Southeast Asian countries enhance administrative management and create a comfortable environment for Chinese tourists.

Anti-corruption action and other inter-governmental cooperation can also force Chinese tourists to comply with local regulations as they travel abroad, avoiding situations where some travelers seek convenience by bribing officials with tips.

As more Chinese tourists visiting Southeast Asia, they should improve their image, while governments on both sides should promote more civilized tourism.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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