The Rickshaw Report: The Travel Special

1. A survey by China Radio International and the China Tourism Academy found that Chinese tourists will make 120 million trips abroad in 2016. What do you think is the biggest incentive for Chinese people to go abroad?
I think they want to both travel and work abroad – it may be easier to make money outside of China.

2. Have you ever traveled abroad?
No, and I am now too old for that. I am 80! And when I was younger, I was too busy with work.

3. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?
Even if I had the opportunity to visit another country, I would not want to. I am scared flying in a plane, and what would happen if I got sick abroad? However, I was a was a young kid, I would definitely like to explore Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, US and UK.

4. According to the same survey by CRI and the China tourism Academy, Chinese tourists will spend 1.1 trillion Yuan (HK$1.3 trillion) abroad this year. What do you make of China’s consumerist culture?
During the 1990s, China was still quite undeveloped. A lot of people longed to buy certain goods, but they could not afford them. Now, they can finally afford them!

5. Over, the past years there have been several reports of Chinese tourists misbehaving abroad. There are reports of an ancient Egyptian temple being vandalized by a Chinese teenager, as well as Chinese passengers violently lashing out on airline crew or even opening the door of an airplane just before take off. What do you make on all of this?
Oh dear, their bad behavior really makes China lose face. It is really embarrassing for us! But these are just the actions of a handful of tourists – not all Chinese people behave so badly.

6. The government has introduced a blacklist to punish those who misbehave abroad. Do you think this solution is effective? Do you have any other ideas to counter the problem?
No, I don’t think it will be effective. People won’t care. But I am not sure how to tackle this issue.

7. Finally, more and more foreign tourists also flock to China. When they leave the country, what impressions do you hope they gain of China and the Chinese people?
I hope just how they can feel happy and welcome here.