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Interview: China's toilet revolution boosts tourism, benefits people, says Indian expert

Thursday, November 30, 2017


NEW DELHI, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The toilet revolution across China brings better facilities not only inside people's homes but also at public places, which has certainly boosted tourism industry, an Indian sinologist has said.

"I have seen a great leap forward as far as transformation of the construction of private and public toilets in China is concerned," which has certainly given rise to tourism in third and fourth tier cities and townships, B.R. Deepark, a professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, told Xinhua.

Toilets at tourist sites in China previously had a bad reputation.

Deepark still remembered all toilets he used in China were squatting ones in 1991 when he visited China for the first time, saying there were many toilets including some on the Beijing Subway Line 1 and 2 where there were no doors, no separators put for male urinals, and that the stench was horrible.

With the Chinese economy taking flight, Deepark said the Chinese people and government became more concerned about the quality of life and public sanitation, and more money was invested to build and renovate toilets across the country.

"I could see this happening in China's remote counties, townships, and even villages as I surveyed over 40 villages in couple of provinces during my field trip in 2006-2007," said Deepark.

In 2015, a three-year campaign to increase the number and sanitation of toilets at tourist sites began. The toilet revolution has been expanding gradually from tourist sites to cover the whole country, from cities to rural areas.

As the campaign goes on, Deepark witnessed changes that more toilets were transformed to clean and hi-tech ones accustomed for any weather conditions.

By the end of October this year, China had installed or upgraded 68,000 toilets at tourist destinations, 19.3 percent more than the target number.

Through his recent visits to various places in China including the villages in southwestern China's Yunnan province, Deepark found that the urbanization of the rural China has equipped Chinese people's homes and public places with better facilities, including their toilets.

The country planned to install or upgrade another 64,000 toilets at tourist destinations between 2018 and 2020, according to an action plan released by the China National Tourism Administration.

"Of course since China is a huge country with an equally huge population, there would always be some areas where this transformation would not be completed, however, I believe that in time to come this would be realized," he added.

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