BANGKOK, 8 January 2018: Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism is campaigning to ensure the country’s public toilets are clean saying it is imperative to present a positive image to the 35 million tourists who visit the country annually.
While pundits might have thought there were more pressing matters such as improvements to safety and infrastructure, the ministry said clean toilets go along way to impressing tourists.
It has a point. China is notorious for having filthy toilets and despite its efforts to polish its image, the reputation for smelly toilets remains and often quoted as a reason for not booking travel beyond China’s major east coast cities.
Thailand’s tourism ministry, last week, called on transport authorities to ensure toilets at bus and rail stations are in immaculate condition.
The campaign complies with the ASEAN Public Toilet Standard a subject that took the 10-nations almost a decade to arrive at the criteria for member countries to adopt to ensure toilets across the region were of a similar high standard of cleanliness.
The ASEAN Public Toilet Standard was included in the region’s 2011 to 2015 strategic tourism plan. It identified criteria on landscaping and design, waste management, cleaning routine and accessibility for disabled and elderly travellers.
Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism signed off on the ASEAN Public Toilet Standard in 2016 and as since campaigned to ensure the standard is adopted by communities and travel service providers including public transport operators.