The age of unsightly Chinese squat toilets may soon come to pass as the government promises to continue implementing its so-called “toilet revolution” this year.
According to the New York Times, China is set to overhaul thousands of toilets in tourist destinations in order to please visitors who are not used to squat toilets, communal trenches and the lack of toilet paper.
In a recent announcement, the China National Tourism Administration unveiled a campaign to improve 100,000 toilets in scenic areas and build 57,000 modern public toilets nationwide this year as part of a five-year plan to improve tourism in the country.
According to Tourism chairman Li Jinzao, the country’s tourism industry is at risk of damaging its reputation and losing billions of dollars in revenue if they fail to improve the country’s toilets.
Li has previously clamored for China to “advance the toilet revolution with the help of science and technology,” at a conference in Beijing in November last year.
In December, the agency discovered numerous violations such as having outdated or unsanitary restrooms in 367 A-rated tourist locations around the country.
After the group’s inspection conducted last year, the erring sites were either delisted, downgraded or warned.
Popular tourist destination Shenlong Gorge was among the violators. In a press statement, the National Tourism Administration said the site was a “prominent laggard of the toilet revolution, with messy toilet sanitation, filthy conditions, seriously bad odors and dirty toilet appliances.”
The site, although reportedly shut down for five days in August to improve its 12 restrooms.remains unaccredited as of the first week of 2017.
Shenlong’s general manager Liao Jiangwei said that while they are working to improve the site’s restrooms, he finds some of the government’s standards to be quite subjective.
“It is hard for us to judge if our own toilets are smelly or dirty,” Liao was quoted as saying.
In China’s toilet revolution, the national standard requirements are actually pretty basic, requiring “sanitary” toilets to have at least walls, roofs, doors and windows and to be at least two square meters in size.