Taiwan’s English-language daily The Taipei Times reports that a restaurant in Kenting has become the first to ban tourists from China — and the restaurant’s controversial decision is winning praise from some Taiwanese visitors to Taiwan’s southern beach resort town.
Restaurant owner Wu Po-min, reports the Times, says he wants to serve foreign and local tourists who spend money, not busloads of Chinese who lower standards and undercut prices.
The main issue seems to be simple revenue: Wu says when Chinese tourists first started to arrive, they were a welcome cash cow with buses of hungry visitors parked in a row outside his eatery.
But tour groups are now negotiating to the margin on set menus and demanding discounts to the point that Wu’s restaurant is losing NT$1 million a year.
Wu called Chinese tourists “poison wrapped in honey.”
The tourists themselves, however, may be less to blame than the tour groups, some of which have reportedly gone bankrupt or refused to pay outstanding bills.
But the perceived lack of manners and lack of respect for local customs and culture is the “elephant in the room,” with local patrons telling Wu they were glad to be able to eat without having to be pressed up against loud, ill-mannered Chinese tourists.
What do you think?
Should a restaurant be allowed to ban a specific nationality?
Or does this strike you as xenophobic and even racist?