Upgradation of toilets can boost China's tourism: Xi
Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for upgrading public toilets in the country as part of a "toilet revolution" aimed at boosting domestic tourism and improving people's quality of life.
The President said: "The construction of clean toilets is an important part of pushing urban and rural civilisation, and more efforts should be made in both cities and rural areas to upgrade toilets," Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.
Along with the "toilet revolution", China should also construct better public facilities and services to boost the tourism industry, Xi said.
Local authorities were now more aware of the important role toilets play, believing better and cleaner toilets were not only beneficial for tourism, but can also improve the environment that people work and live in, and enhance the overall level of civilization of society.
China launched the toilet revolution across the country in 2015 with an aim to make such facilities cleaner and more regulated.
Toilets in the countryside and at tourist sites previously have had a bad reputation.
In rural areas, some toilets were little more than makeshift shelters surrounded by bunches of cornstalks, and some were open pits next to pig sties.
At tourist sites, visitors were angered by insufficient toilets, unhygienic conditions and lack of sanitation workers.
By the end of October, China had installed or upgraded 68,000 toilets at tourist destinations, 19.3 per cent more than the target number.
The toilet revolution has been expanding gradually from tourist sites to cover the whole country, from cities to rural areas.
The country has planned to install or upgrade another 64,000 toilets at tourist destinations from 2018 to 2020, according to an action plan released by the China National Tourism Administration.