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China Is Revamping Its Public Toilets in the Name of Tourism

In a concerted effort to boost tourism, China recently announced a new plan to upgrade its public toilets in addition to revitalizing its old industrial regions.

According to Reuters, China aims to attract private funds of ¥2 trillion (US$288 billion) into the emerging sector in order to take advantage of increased demand, which could make the sector account for 12% of the country’s annual economic growth by 2020. Domestic travelers are expected to take 6.4 billion domestic trips a year by 2020, Chinese officials predict, while overseas travelers will make around 150 million trips to the country.

And thanks to numerous complaints about the hygiene of public toilets in China, the government has also vowed a “toilet revolution”, in which government funds will be put toward building or renovating roughly 100,000 public toilets, according to the news outlet.

Beyond restrooms, the Chinese government has promised to set up “demonstration tourist bases” particularly in northern areas, whose once-thriving coal-based economies have taken a hit, reports Reuters.

In this case, at least, Vietnam could perhaps take a leaf out of China’s book: a lack of public toilets in the Southeast Asian nation has become not only an issue of tourism development but also one of public discomfort in recent years.

In late December, hundreds of young Vietnamese participated in the Urgent Run, organized by Binh Duong province’s branch of the Singapore-based World Toilet Organization, in order to raise awareness of sanitation issues in local communities.

[Photo via The Chairman's Bao]

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