Opinion / From the Readers

Help hotline for Chinese tourists

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-02-17 07:57

Comment on "Hotline help on way for Chinese abroad" (China Daily, Jan 28)

The setting up of a hotline to provide help and counsel for Chinese citizens traveling abroad is not only a thoughtful gesture, but also a progressive move. With the help of this hotline, travelers can now feel more at ease knowing that help is only a phone call away.

China has the largest population in the world, and about 98.2 million people from the Chinese mainland went on overseas trips last year, making the hotline essential. China has indeed set an example for other countries to follow. The service is likely to open the doors for more people, who might not have felt as safe before, to travel abroad.

Having worked in Orlando, Florida, at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I was introduced to a multitude of people from different countries around the world. Since I am not fluent in any language except English, I found it difficult at times to communicate and understand the needs of the people who were also able to only speak their native language.

Although I never had the experience of dealing with someone facing an emergency at Disneyland, there were some guests who desperately wanted to voice their concerns and luckily I could find a cast member who was able to interpret. I cannot imagine the panic and stress that a person would feel if they were unable to articulate a personal crisis in a foreign country. The hotline set up by China will help reduce this sort of fear for Chinese citizens.

Hopefully, China's new 24-hour global link to help its citizens caught in difficult situations abroad will set off a chain reaction of modern safety precautions in the global tourism industry.

Victoria Marx, via e-mail


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