Finland denies Chinese tourists assaulted guides over Northern Lights no-show

Updated 2017-02-17 10:01:21 CGTN

Chinese tourists travelling overseas have gained some unwelcome reputation for appalling manners, such as littering, jaywalking, cutting queues and talking loudly.

This time, reports of Chinese tourists assaulting and arguing with Finnish tour guides for not seeing the Northern Lights have gone viral online.

Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported last week that tour guides accompanying a Chinese group for the tour "The hunt for the Northern Lights" in Lapland, Finland, were forced to call the police over fears of violence from angry tourists who claimed they didn't see the natural phenomenon.

The Head of Communications with the Lapland Police Department, Hanna Kelloniemi, told CCTV that there was no violence between the tourists and guides. However there was arguing, and police were forced to come to the scene to explain that due to weather and light conditions, the Northern Lights were not always visible.

The mayor of Rovaniemi city Esko Lotvonen said the media were looking to blow the story out of proportion. He said he hoped that there was no political motive behind the media focus, and that this incident would not harm ties between Finland and China.

More and more Chinese tourists are visiting the country, out of interest in Finnish and Scandinavian culture, as well as its natural scenery. Statistics Finland said the number of overnight stays in the country by Chinese visitors jumped to nearly 120,000 between January and July last year, signaling a year-on-year increase of 21.6 percent.

As more Chinese people travel abroad for shopping and sightseeing, and more cases of alleged misbehavior have emerged, the Chinese government has looked to discourage travelers from misbehaving and hurting the country's image.

China's National Tourism Administration has created a blacklist of misbehaving tourists. Their names and a description of their alleged misbehavior are entered onto the administration's list, and remain there for one to three years. Over that period, they can be refused services by travel agents, airlines, hotels and scenic sites.

In 2013, the government also issued a catchy 128-character-long rhyme to remind tourists to behave in a civilized manner.

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