Toilet revolution for tourism evolution

Updated: 2015-04-07 07:46

By Li Jinzao(China Daily)

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Public toilets are necessary facility. But since they are also an important part of local infrastructure, local officials have to play a primary role in building and managing them by including them in their infrastructure plans. Also, the tourism department must issue strict guidelines for the construction and management of toilets at tourist spots, and help the planning, management, transportation and environmental protection departments fulfill their duties.

The key to a successful "toilet revolution" lies in institutional innovation. We need to develop a market-based system for building and managing toilets, for "a good toilet is 30 percent construction and 70 percent management".

Many public toilets in China are built following high standards, but since the management is not up to the same standards, they become dirty and fall into disrepair. We need to integrate and use various kinds of resources based on the principle of "market-based and commercialized operation", and explore multiple ways and channels to make sure that there are enough public toilets and that they are well managed.

Modern toilets are a combination of new materials and new technologies. We have to use eco-friendly materials in their construction, take measures to improve natural ventilation, and employ methane fermentation and other advanced technologies to keep them clean, tidy, dry and odorless. Targeted steps have to be taken to help tourist spots solve their problems in toilet construction and management. In the plains, we should explore the use of new toilet technologies and materials suited to local conditions. In the high-altitude and cold regions, we must seek ways to prevent freezing in toilets. And in places with water shortage, we have to find solutions to the flushing problem.

Amid all this, we should not forget that users play an equally important role in keeping toilets clean and dry. For that, we need to vigorously promote civilized toilet culture among Chinese nationals as well as tourists.

The author is director of National Tourism Administration of China.

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