12 August 2008

Smile China, the world is watching

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In the lead-up to the Olympic Games last week, the Chinese Government issued etiquette booklets to taxi drivers, hospitality workers, retail assistants and police in an attempt to clean up the face of the Beijing Olympics, reports Travelmole.

The government's booklet outlined general and occupation-specific orders to the Chinese population to ensure a good impression is left on the thousands of visitors expected during the games.  The booklet included strict orders on customer service and appearance, as well as learning English.

Taxi drivers were told to brush their teeth more often and refrain from snacking and sleeping in the cab while on duty.  Residents were told to not spit, ask questions about age and talk about sex or religion, or queue-jump.  The police were ordered to not chew or smoke in public, and the general population were given a dress-code, including not wearing white socks with black pants or wearing pyjamas in the street.

Reports from China confirm the general public have taken the etiquette lessons on board, with customer service representatives even temporarily assuming Western names to make it easier for tourists, and everyone else ensuring they are wearing a welcoming smile on their face. 

All visitors to China are required to gain a Chinese visa to gain entry.  The Chinese visa, or Ordinary Visa, is separated under three general categories, including tourist visas, business visas, and permanent visas.  There are eight sub-categories of visas within these three categories, which are distinguished by the letters L, G, F, X, Z, C, J, and D. 

The L visa is the most common Chinese tourist visa and is valid for three months. Tourists who are granted an L visa are required to travel to China within three months of being granted visa clearance. 

The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in Chinese visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Worldwide Visa Bureau.

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