An official exhibits a clean public toilet for the disabled at the new Phitsanulok bus station on Friday. (Photo by Chinnawat Singha)
After banning smoking on selected beaches, the country’s next goal is to clean up dirty public toilets – another step to boost Thailand’s heavily tourism-dependent economy.
Following the launch of smoke-free beaches in 24 locations in 15 provinces, a campaign recently launched by the Tourism and Sports Ministry focuses on public facilities at bus and train stations, while encouraging private operators of toilets at petrol stations, rest areas and restaurants to clean up their own act.
Four public places in four regions have been picked as models for the plan: Hua Lampong station in Bangkok, the second bus terminal in Nakhon Ratchasima, the second bus station in Phitsanulok and Hua Hin train station in Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Public toilets in locations popular with tourists should be both clean and safe, Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat has said.
Tourism accounts for about 10% of gross domestic product and has been a major engine of economic growth in recent years. More than 32 million tourists visited the country last year, 2 million more than in 2016. The ministry expects even more to come this year.