Chinese embassy in Singapore issues etiquette manual to its citizens arriving at Changi Airport

Tourists from China at the Merlion Park
The Straits Times

It’s fairly normal for friends and family to welcome visitors from abroad at the arrival terminal in airports.

Imagine being greeted by embassy officials instead – with pamphlets on how to behave, no less.

That’s what happened to Chinese tourists arriving at Singapore’s Changi Airport on Friday afternoon, according to South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Embassy staff reportedly waited at Terminal 3 to hand out flyers listing do’s and don’ts.

Said the SCMP report, some of these tips include a reminder to pay tips in cash and not via mobile payment, which is commonplace in China.

Another piece of sound advice from the embassy is that airline goods such as blankets must not be removed from the plane.

The flyer also reminds Chinese visitors to refrain from taking durian with them when using public transportation because of the fruit’s pungent smell.

The embassy also made sure to caution its citizens against jaywalking, whistling during a show at the theatre as well as cutting in line when standing in queue.

Chinese tourists make up the second-largest source of visitors in Singapore last year, following closely behind Indonesian tourists, according to estimates by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

However, Chinese tourists came out tops in terms of expenditure. They were the biggest spenders for the second consecutive year in 2016 with a 36 per cent increase in visitor arrivals.

The measures taken by the Chinese embassy mirrors that of Thai authorities when they released an etiquette manual for Chinese tourists back in 2015.

Meant for visitors travelling to Thailand for Chinese New Year, the manual touched on topics such as museum etiquette, proper driving behaviour, and warned them against using “public property as lavatory facilities”, The Telegraph reported.

This isn’t the first time that the Chinese authorities have taken it upon themselves to guide their own citizens on how to avoid being terrible tourists while abroad.

In 2013, the Chinese government published a 64-page guidebook teaching travellers how to maintain decorum when overseas.