The head of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday urged local governments to improve public toilet cleanliness at tourist destinations so that tourists will leave the country with a better impression of Taiwan.
EPA Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) was speaking at the mausoleum of dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) in Taoyuan County yesterday.
“Taiwan attracts millions of visitors every year with its natural scenery, but in addition to beautiful vistas, leaving a good impression is also important in persuading visitors to come back,” Shen said.
He added that public toilets at scenic spots reflected the country’s overall standards of hygiene.
To enhance the cleanliness of public toilets, Shen said that the EPA would inspect and classify in four categories a total of 18,652 toilets around the country.
The categories will be “excellent,” “good,” “fair” and “needs improvement.”
The program would evaluate toilets in scenic spots, public institutions and along tourist routes, he said.
From next year it would be applied to hotels and restaurants, he said.
An estimated NT$30 million (US$942,000) is expected to be spent on this year’s hygiene campaign, said Yuan Shaw-ying (袁紹英), chief of the EPA’s department of environmental sanitation and toxic substance management.
According to the Tourism Bureau, visitor arrivals last year totaled 3.71 million, an increase of 5.58 percent compared with 2006.
The bureau has mapped out a “Tour Taiwan Years 2008-2009” program with special activities and preferential measures that hopes to attract 4 million visitors this year.