BANGKOK – The Tourism Department has allied with agencies in both the government and private sectors for the launch of a “Thailand Clean Toilet” campaign to ensure there are clean restrooms in tourist attractions nationwide.
The department unveiled the campaign on Wednesday, which the United Nations had proclaimed as “World Toilet Day”, at Wat Arunrajavararam (The Temple of Dawn) in Bangkok.
The Tourism Department’s director-general, Acting Second Lieutenant Arnuparp Gaesornsuwan, led a team to greet representatives of a long list of partner organizations. These were the Bangkok Metropolitan Adminis-tration’s Health Department, the Land Transport Department, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the Health Department of the Public Health Ministry, Bangkok Yai District Office, the State Railway of Thailand, Lixil (Thailand), Bangchak Petroleum, the Thai Shopping Centre Association, Tesco Lotus, Central Pattana, MBK Centre, Ichitan Group, and Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok.
Dr Suwat Sidthilaw, permanent secretary of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, presided over the event at the Temple of Dawn, one of the country’s most famous tourist spots, where clean restrooms were showcased as an example to inspire others.
“The ‘Thailand Clean Toilet’ campaign is the brainchild of Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, who has initiated the network of cooperation among the tourism-related agencies … to inspire caretakers of tourist attractions nationwide to put more effort into building and developing restrooms that are up to sanitary standards,” he said.
“It is an irrefutable fact that a clean restroom plays an important role in adding to the attractiveness of a tourist spot. It may even influence tourists’ [decisions] to visit such destinations. And it is equally important to have clean public toilets along the roads leading to tourist attractions.”
Activities under the campaign will be held in four regions of the country from next month until March.
These activities will encourage organizations, communities, tourists, entrepreneurs and the general public nationwide to recognise the value of hygiene and cleanliness. Together they would work to improve their environments, which will enhance the image of the country’s tourist attractions, tourism standards, and above all, Thailand itself.
Under the campaign, the Tourism Department is also planning a “Clean Toilet Photo Contest” in collaboration with partner organizations.
People will be invited to take “selfies” or other pictures of clean toilets and share them over social media, to encourage public participation on a wider scale.
Upon completion of the campaign, awards will be presented and useful information collected for future solutions in the improvement of facilities in the country’s tourist attractions.
This is not the first time the department has attempted to improve the standards of public restrooms. Back in 2004, it used the “Merry Elephant” tourism standard emblem as a seal of endorsement.
It says the “Thailand Clean Toilet” campaign will take this effort to another level as it encourages all stakeholders in the tourism supply chain to work together for a better and cleaner Thailand.