The management of a tourist site in China was heavily criticized on social media for purportedly discriminating against local Chinese tourists in favor of foreigners.
Accusations of discrimination: Lanzhanfei, a prominent travel influencer with nearly 4 million followers on Douyin, called out the management of the Shengshi Tangcheng tourist site in Xiangyang City, Hubei province in a now-viral video. According to Lanzhanfei, the staff forced domestic visitors to give up their seats to accommodate 11 foreign tourists during a featured evening performance.
A local’s frustration: In the video, which has been viewed over 4 million times, Lanzhanfei expressed his frustration at paying 126 yuan (approximately $17.28) for a ticket to witness ancient Chinese-style performances, including horse riding, only to find that some seating areas were reserved exclusively for foreign guests. He also revealed that the show was postponed by seven minutes to accommodate some foreigners who arrived late.
“It is fine to greet your guests,” he lamented. “You can shut the site and postpone the show however you like, but don’t humiliate me and my ticket money.”
In defense of the management: Some individuals who claimed to have attended the same performance defended the site’s management, claiming that the influencer had exaggerated the situation.
A local Douyin user, Duojisheying, posted a video purportedly showing a staff member offering to relocate Lanzhanfei to a different seating area with a better view and refund his ticket, an offer that Lanzhanfei declined. Duojisheying also mentioned that the show had been delayed “half of the time” for safety reasons, questioning Lanzhanfei’s assertion that it was solely due to tardy foreign guests.
Responding to the outrage: After drawing public backlash, the Shengshi Tangcheng site management issued a public apology on its official WeChat account. As compensation, they offered all attendees of the disrupted show a free access pass, valid for a year. Many commenters criticized the apology as insincere and felt that the offered compensation was insufficient.