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Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 18:31

Tourist blacklisted for climbing Red Army statue

Tourist blacklisted for climbing Red Army statue
Tourist Li Wenchun climbs on top of a Red Army statue for a photo on April 23, 2015. (Photo/Weibo)

A man was placed on the tourist blacklist for 10 years for climbing on top of a Red Army statue for a photo at a tourist attraction.

The decision was made by the country's National Tourism Administration and announced on Tuesday. The scenic spot, Shengli Shan (Victory Hill) in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, was excluded for star-rated ranking for the next two years, as a punishment for poor administration.

The man, Li Wenchun, climbed on top of the Red Army statue for a photo in late April. His behavior was posted on social media by passersby and was severely criticized by the public.

Li was the first Chinese tourist to be blacklisted by the NTA after the administration officially announced rules last month to establish a blacklist of tourists who demonstrate inappropriate or illegal behavior.

The regulation comes amid growing concern about the ill manners of Chinese tourists both at home and abroad.

In December, four Chinese tourists who threw hot water and noodles on a Thai flight attendant and threatened to blow up the plane were the first batch of offenders to be blacklisted by NTA.

The rules did not specify what punishments will come after the blacklist, but the person's information is very likely to be passed to police, customs officials and banks.

Right ahead of the May Day holiday, the tourism administration issued another couple of industry standards to give tour guides the right to report bad behavior to the authorities.

The punishment for Li has been applauded by many, as shown on social media, while some argue the punishment was either too mild or too harsh, as the consequences of being on the blacklist for 10 years is unknown.

The regulation released last month said that the records of misbehaving tourists would be kept for up to two years. It is not known whether Li's case was considered extremely serious by the officials.

The new regulation specified six types of behaviors to be blacklisted, from interrupting public transportation, damaging private or public property, disrespecting local customs, sabotaging historical exhibits, to engaging in gambling or pornographic activities.

China is the world's largest outbound tourist market since 2012. In 2013, Chinese tourists spent 129 billion US dollars abroad, more than any other source country in the world.

In 2014, Chinese tourists made 3.6 billion domestic trips, an increase of 10 percent. The number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad also increased by 19.5 percent year on year to 109 million in 2014, according to Xinhua.

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