Chinese tourists recently made the headlines for climbing and damaging cherry blossom trees at Jingming Temple in Nanjing, China.
As the Qingming Festival Holiday was underway on Sunday, Beijing’s national parks were crowded with more than 500,000 people who had come out to celebrate.
With the rise in the number of visitors, a significant amount of destruction to the park’s property and cleanliness was to be expected.
However, this year’s visitors took the messiness to a whole new level.
While many people hung from branches of trees, others picked flowers and left the parks in chaos. All this came despite signs that outlined clear behavioral guidelines from the park authorities, explaining what was considered bad behavior.
To deal with the situation, the park’s authorities issued tickets to visitors violating the rules or indulging in “uncivilized behavior.” The fine for picking flowers, damaging the park’s property or climbing trees was $3, and people who broke the rules were made to pay the fee. Even though the fine was a small amount, according to Tao, the park’s manager, it was imposed to teach people about park etiquette.
"Punishment is not an end," he told Beijing News. "We are hoping to protect the park environment and keep it in good order."
It's hard to say how effective such a small fine is when teaching people manners, but surely it is a step in the right direction since it would make people think twice before indulging in acts that damage public property. Due to fear of being called out in public and also having to pay money, it is likely that people breaking rules at the parks would be careful in the future.