Occidentalism
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Chinese tourists ripped off in Sydney

June 24th, 2007 . by Matt

Chinese tourists are being ripped off in Sydney, paying $100 to walk the public Bondi Beach.

TENS of thousands of Chinese tourists to Australia are being fleeced by rip-off travel companies and rogue traders every year, consumer groups have warned.

The situation is so bad that tourist industry officials fear Australia could be damaged as a brand and the massive economic benefits of the boom in travel from China could disappear.

Scams uncovered in Sydney include:

* Charging tourists $100 to walk on Bondi Beach or to have their photograph taken at the Opera House;

* Locking tourists in shops and confiscating passports until they spend big on overpriced goods;

* Unfulfilled promises of luxury central business district accommodation;

* Travellers crammed into minibuses and denied free time for their own shopping and sightseeing.

Choice consumer group spokeswoman Indira Naidoo said: “A few years ago it was the Japanese who were being ripped off but now it is the Chinese. They are perfect victims; they are not used to international travel and can be quite naive, and many of them have little or no English, so if someone tells them that a sign on the beach says it costs $100 to walk on it, then they will believe them.

“Culturally, also, the Chinese are reluctant to create a fuss and complain so they will go along with what they are being told.

“We are already receiving thousands of complaints every year from Chinese tourists who are unhappy and we think that is the tip of the iceberg.

“We estimate that only about 10 per cent of those who are unhappy actually make a complaint, so in reality, tens of thousands of tourists are being ripped off.”

China is Australia’s fastest-growing inbound tourism market and annual numbers have soared by 280percent to more than 300,000 in the past seven years, making it the fifth biggest in terms of visitors and economic benefit. By 2015, almost 1million Chinese visitors are expected to visit Australia each year.

The recent increase comes despite a survey of Chinese visitors by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources that found 40percent were dissatisfied with their experiences here.

Both Choice and the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) have received reports of tourists being held under virtual detention from the moment they arrive in Australia, with no free time.

Some are bussed directly from the airport to suburban warehouses which they are told are duty-free shops. “They are told they can’t shop in normal shops in Sydney because Australians don’t like the Chinese or the goods are overpriced,” Ms Naidoo said.

“We have had anecdotal reports of people being locked in a shop and their passports taken off them until they have spent a certain amount on very shoddy goods.”

The article does not say so but I would be very surprised if the shady tour operators were not Chinese themselves. It just would not occur to Australians to commit this particular form of crime. The only authentic traditional Australian form of crime I can think of is the form of criminal known as the ‘standover man’.

Whoever is doing it, I hope the authorities are able to crack down before the nations reputation is destroyed and many holidays ruined.


7 Responses to “Chinese tourists ripped off in Sydney”

  1. comment number 1 by: Ocebey

    The article does not say so but I would be very surprised if the shady tour operators were not Chinese themselves. It just would not occur to Australians to commit this particular form of crime.

    You mean they’re not intelligent enough?

    “A few years ago it was the Japanese who were being ripped off but now it is the Chinese.

    And i’m guessing again that a few years ago the australians had nothing to do with it but that some bad Japaneses came to rip their fellow people off…

    I don’t want to seem especially critical but i believe Australians can be just as crafty or dishonest as anyone else.
    I’m surprised you jumped to fast to the Korean style game “it’s not our fault, It’s all the foreigners fault!” when you’re usually so fast to denounce it.

    There is most probably chinese people who’re participating in this scam business but your assumption seems a little fast to me.
    Well. I really will like to see how others react to this article.

  2. comment number 2 by: Matt

    You mean they’re not intelligent enough?

    And –

    I don’t want to seem especially critical but i believe Australians can be just as crafty or dishonest as anyone else.
    I’m surprised you jumped to fast to the Korean style game “it’s not our fault, It’s all the foreigners fault!” when you’re usually so fast to denounce it.

    There is most probably chinese people who’re participating in this scam business but your assumption seems a little fast to me.
    Well. I really will like to see how others react to this article.

    I did not say that Australians have no sense of criminality, I said that it “would not occur to Australians to commit this particular form of crime”. Different people commit different forms of crime. Thats why Nigerians are famous for email scams, and Canadians are not. I also went out of my way to point out a unique Australian form of criminality, the standover man.

    Australians just would not think to do this kind of crime. Just like it would not occur to Australians to commit a crime like “ore ore sagi” that happens in Japan. The types of crimes people commit very much depends on the culture of the people committing them.

  3. comment number 3 by: Errol

    # Ocebey Says:
    June 24th, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    The article does not say so but I would be very surprised if the shady tour operators were not Chinese themselves. It just would not occur to Australians to commit this particular form of crime.

    You mean they’re not intelligent enough?

    Of course Australians aren’t cunningintelligent enough. Australians are naive, innocent country hicks.

    You need to go to a big city like Beijing or Shanghai to find hustlers devious enough to think up such a scam and then brazen enough to carry it out.

    A couple of years ago Korean tour companies were charging ajumma a $100 to walk on the beaches. Maybe the Beijing hustlers learnt from a 서울 깍쟁이

  4. comment number 4 by: kteen

    “The Chinese are reluctant to create a fuss and complain so they will go along with what they are being told”…nice joke

    When I was living in myanmar the only guys who had faces thick enough to start screaming in public were the chinese.

    And playing the game in ‘korean style’ is better than acting like a kindergartener with cookie crumbs all over his mouth saying, “I din’t touch the cookies!”

  5. comment number 5 by: consoleman

    Naa, that wasn’t dumb aussie, itbwas chinese ripping chinese tourist. Aussies gets ripped off when they they visit China anyway.

  6. comment number 6 by: BananaBoi

    There is a strong possibility that those tour operators are indeed Chinese, I’ve seen them many times on the streets. Its disgusting to see Chinese ripping off other Chinese.

  7. comment number 7 by: John.

    Ok.. first of all.. I don’t see how a Chinese person would really fall for such a scam.. I mean, $100 for a walk on the beach? I don’t think even an elementary school student would fall for that trick.. but then again, I don’t think the tourists would have any way of knowing that it was a scam by asking someone, because if they don’t know much English, then it’s pretty much useless. Also, isn’t it a bit rash to judge Chinese people as “reluctant to create a fuss” and all that..?