Little-Known Chinese Customs Travelers Should Know

By, Special for  USDR

Chinese outbound tourism continues to rise according to the™ Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM), and with the U.S. being the most visited international destination among Chinese travelers in 2014, many U.S. hotels are catering to Chinese culture and traveler preferences. But China is also projected to be a top 10international outbound destination for Americans this  year.

To help American travelers considering a visit to this vast and diverse country, has compiled some cultural traditions, etiquette tips and quirky insights to keep in  mind.

“The best part of traveling is learning about cultures much different than our own, but it helps to be in-the-know before you jump on the plane,” said Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel  expert.

Below are some behaviors and traditions U.S. travelers can learn to prepare for travel to  China:

1. Smile! According to a survey, 12% of Chinese respondents said they always greet fellow guests on a hotel elevator, but 35% only greet guests on an elevator if they look friendly and  smile.

2. Tea etiquette: Always serve yourself last when pouring tea – start with the eldest person at the table first. To show appreciation for someone pouring your tea, tap two fingers on the  table.

3. Where’s #4? You will never see a hotel or building with a 4th floor. The number four is considered bad luck, as it has similar pronunciation to the word  “death.”

4. Elevator etiquette: Only 24% of people admit to having passed gas in an elevator, but it’s more common in certain APAC countries according to a survey, which found that 28% of Chinese respondents admitted to doing so on an  elevator.

5. Yes or No? It is traditional to refuse something at least once, as it is a sign of politeness. So when someone offers you the last bite of fish, you’re expected to refuse once or twice to seem humbled by the  offer.

6. Cheers! Toasts are made by holding a glass with two  hands.

7. Close talkers: In China, personal space is minimal or nonexistent. Be prepared for some close proximity on trains, stores and  elevators.

8. Punctuality: Timeliness is synonymous with respect. Be on time or early for tours, hotel check-out and dinner    reservations.

To find last minute hotel deals in China, visit Join in the conversation with #HotelExperts at  @hotelsdotcom.

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All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.