Archive for ‘tourist’

15/02/2019

China closes its Everest base camp to tourists

Everest view from Tibetan sideImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionMore and more people want to see the world’s tallest peak

China has closed the base camp on its side of Mount Everest to visitors who don’t have climbing permits.

Authorities have resorted to the unusual move to deal with the mounting waste problem at the site.

The ban means tourists can only go as far as a monastery slightly below the 5,200m (17,060ft) base camp level.

More people visit the mountain from the southern side in Nepal, but over the past years numbers have been rising steadily on the Chinese side as well.

The Chinese base camp, located in Tibet, is popular as it is accessible by car – whereas the Nepalese camp can only be reached by a hike of almost two weeks.

The world’s highest peak has been struggling with escalating levels of rubbish for years, as the number of visitors rises.

The Chinese Mountaineering Association says 40,000 visited its base camp in 2015, the most recent year with figures. A record 45,000 visited Nepal’s base camp in 2016-7 according to Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.

Everest view from Tibetan sideImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionTourists are still allowed to go as far as the Rongbuk monastery

Ordinary tourists will only be banned from areas above Rongbuk monastery, which is around 5,000m above sea level, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua.

Mountaineers who have a permit to climb the 8,848m peak will still be allowed to use the higher camp.

In January, authorities announced that they would limit the number of climbing permits each year to 300.

On Chinese social media, claims have spread in recent days that its base camp will be permanently closed to tourists – but Xinhua cited officials denying that.

Nepalese sherpa picking up trash on EverestImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe temperature and high altitude make clean-up efforts on Everest a tough task

The official announcement about the closure was made in December, on the website of the Tibetan authorities.

It stated that three clean-up operations last spring had collected eight tonnes of waste, including human faeces and mountaineering equipment climbers had left behind.

This year’s clean-up efforts will also try to remove the bodies of mountaineers who have died in the so-called death zone above 8,000m, where the air is too thin to sustain life for long.

Due to the cold and high altitude, these bodies often remain on the mountain for years or even decades.

Source: The BBC

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15/02/2019

China Focus: Qomolangma reserve bans ordinary tourists in core zone

LHASA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region has banned ordinary tourists from entering its core zone to better conserve the environment of the world’s highest mountain.

But for travelers who have a climbing permit, the mountaineering activities will not be affected, according to the reserve which was set up in 1988.

Covering an area of around 33,800 square km including a 10,312-square km core zone, the reserve is home to one of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems.

Recently, a report went viral online claiming the Qomolangma base camp was “permanently closed due to heavy pollution.” But local authorities denied the claim.

Kelsang, deputy director with the reserve’s administration, said ordinary tourists are banned from areas above Rongpo Monastery, around 5,000 meters above sea level. A new tent camp will be set up nearly two km away from the original one.

Between each April and October, villagers from Dingri County usually set up black tents at the foot of Mount Qomolangma, providing tourists accommodation as a means of earning money.

Though ordinary visitors can’t go beyond the monastery, it won’t affect them from appreciating the mountain.

“The new tent camp for ordinary tourists can still allow them to clearly see the 8,800-meter-plus mountain,” Kelsang said.

Travelers who have a climbing permit can go to the base camp at an altitude of 5,200 meters. Kelsang said the mountaineering activities have been approved by the regional forestry department.

Decades after the epic climb to the world’s peak, Tibetans at the foot of Mount Qomolangma have conquered poverty by receiving professional and amateur mountaineers and tourists, who have also posed an environmental challenge to the mountain.

To conserve the environment surrounding Mount Qomolangma, China carried out three major clean-ups at an altitude of 5,200 meters and above last spring, collecting more than eight tonnes of household waste, human feces and mountaineering trash.

This year, the clean-up will continue, and the remains of mountaineering victims above 8,000 meters will be centrally dealt with for the first time.

Meanwhile, the number of people who stay at the base camp will be kept under 300.

Currently, there are 85 wildlife protectors in the reserve, and 1,000 herders have part-time jobs patrolling and cleaning up garbage.

“These measures aim to strike a balance between various demands such as environmental protection, local poverty relief, mountaineering and education,” said Wang Shen, county chief of Dingri at the mountain foot.

Source: Xinhua

09/11/2013

Chinese tourists: Mind your manners | The Economist

IT’S HARD being a Chinese tourist. Reviled for bad behaviour one day and ripped off by everyone from taxi drivers to pickpockets the next, China’s newly minted travelling classes are having a tough year.

In typical fashion, the Chinese government appears intent on regulating away some of that pain. On October 1st China’s tourism industry came under a new set of rules, most intended to curb corruption in domestic travel and ease the burden on guides, groups and tourists travelling within the country. The law includes at least one clause that seems to have been inspired by a series of incidents that have revealed the apparently bad manners of Chinese tourists, on the mainland and overseas.

The number of Chinese travelling at leisure, both domestically and abroad, has grown tremendously in recent years, boosted by rising incomes, a less restrictive passport regime and softer limits on spending. The new tourism law aims to help the tourists themselves, mainly by preventing practices like the forced-march shopping excursions that are often led by ill-paid tour guides. The law also provides helpful advice to the many millions of mainland Chinese who do their pleasure-seeking abroad.

Section 13 advises Chinese tourists to behave themselves wherever they go in the world. The article is a nod to high-profile embarrassments like the one that a teenager caused by carving his mark—“Ding Jinhao was here”—into an ancient wall in the Egyptian ruins at Luxor earlier this year. Chinese tourists have drawn scorn after posting online snapshots of themselves hunting and devouring endangered sea clams in the Paracel islands, and others have produced fake marriage papers at resorts in the Maldives, in order to take advantage of free dinners. (Closer to home, the new law might have given pause to the group of Chinese tourists on Hainan island who inadvertently killed a stranded dolphin by using it as a prop in group portraits.) Spitting, shouting and sloppy bathroom etiquette have made the Chinese look like the world’s rudest new tourists, from London to Taipei and beyond.

A vice-premier, Wang Yang, made note of the problem a few months ago, calling on his countrymen to watch their manners when travelling abroad. The new regulations add legal force to his plea.

Tourists shall respect public order and social morality in tourism activities, respect the local customs, cultural traditions and religious beliefs, take care of tourism resources, protect the ecological environment and respect the norms of civilised tourist behaviours,” as Section 13 instructs.

Although it might be difficult to regulate such sensitive matters by fiat, this kind of nudge can have an impact in China. These few headline-grabbing humiliations, along with an ongoing campaign that mainland visitors face in Hong Kong, have made many relatively seasoned Chinese travellers more careful about the way they comport themselves abroad. In Paris, ever a favourite destination for Chinese tourists and shoppers, polite French-speaking Chinese guides shepherd their flocks through the sites, apologising when any of their charges bumps into others.

via Chinese tourists: Mind your manners | The Economist.

24/09/2013

Chinese tourist boom ripples out to more destinations

SCMP: !Chinese tourists are seeking more exotic locales for their trips as the popularity of most of their top 20 destinations soars, TripAdvisor said on Tuesday, reflecting the boom by the world’s highest-spending group of travellers.

china_tourism.jpg

The travel website said its data on customer searches showed people from mainland China still love to go to nearby Hong Kong and Macau for getaways and shopping, but are increasingly adventurous, with holidays in Asia, Europe and North America.

This new generation of Chinese outbound travellers is making their own decisions LILY CHENG, TRIPADVISOR CHINAY

“This new generation of Chinese outbound travellers is making their own decisions about where to go, where to stay and what to do by doing their own research online, going beyond the old stereotype of big buses of group tourists,” Lily Cheng, managing director of TripAdvisor China, said in a statement.

Hong Kong was the most popular destination search in July to August, with interest from Chinese travellers rising 50 per cent from the same period of last year, TripAdvisor said.

Phuket, a beach resort in Thailand, was in second place, with 3.5 times as many searches than a year earlier. Taiwan was third (up 4.5 times), Bangkok was fourth (up 3.7 times) and Paris was fifth (up 4.6 times).

Other popular places in the Chinese top 20 included Dubai, Seoul, Singapore, the Indonesian island of Bali, Rome, New York and London.

Four destinations had booming growth, with searches up by more than six times: Jeju Island in South Korea, Kyoto in Japan, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia and Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi.

While tourism spending is on the rise globally, Chinese travellers are the most avid consumers and a big target market for operators of hotels, shops and attractions.

Barclays analysts said in July that spending by Chinese tourists rose 22 per cent in the second quarter, compared with 20 per cent in the first three months of the year, as global tourism spending grew 14 per cent.

Last year, more than 83 million Chinese travelled abroad – a number expected to soar to 200 million by 2020. Chinese spending on overseas travel was the highest in the world last year at US$102 billion, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation.

via Chinese tourist boom ripples out to more destinations | South China Morning Post.

29/06/2013

China’s outbound tourists surpass 37 million

China Daily: “The number of outbound tourists leaving China reached 37.92 million in the first five months this year, up 17.3 percent compared with the same period in 2012, according to China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) statistics.

However, the number of overnight inbound tourists dropped, the administration said.

Inbound overnight visitors reached 22.93 million between January and May, down 4.06 percent over the same period last year.

Domestic travelers reached 998 million in the first quarter, up 14.1 percent, with domestic travel revenue standing at 765.7 billion yuan ($123.92 billion), up 18.4 percent, according to the administration.

In the second half of this year, China will further promote key markets and foster potential ones to develop its inbound traveling sector, said Zhu Shanzhong, deputy director of the CNTA.

China has the world’s largest domestic tourism market and outbound Chinese tourists are the biggest spenders worldwide.”

via China’s outbound tourists surpass 37 million |Society |chinadaily.com.cn.

27/05/2013

* China parents apologise after teen’s Egypt graffiti exposed

BBC: “The parents of a Chinese teenager exposed and condemned by internet users for vandalising ancient Egyptian artwork have apologised, reports say.

This photo taken at the Luxor Temple in Egypt on 6 May 2013 shows graffiti reportedly from a Chinese tourist

On Friday a micro-blogger posted a photo of graffiti at a temple complex in Luxor, Egypt, which said: “Ding Jinhao was here”.

Angry internet users then managed to identify the teen, posting his date of birth and school online, reports said.

His mother told a local paper they were sorry for his actions.

Luxor is home to a large temple complex, located on the bank of the Nile River, believed to be some 3,500 years old.”

via BBC News – China parents apologise after teen’s Egypt graffiti exposed.

See also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22573572

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