Vietnam's tourism short on toilets
The number of public restrooms at tourist destinations in Viet Nam only meets about 30 per cent of demand, which is believed to leave a bad impression on tourists and cause environmental problems.
The issue was raised once again at a video conference among tourism officials and experts from Ha Noi, HCM City and Da Nang held yesterday, Aug 28.
They were strongly in favor of creating a detailed plan to build enough public rest-rooms to serve tourists.
Minister of Cultural, Sport and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said that investment in public rest-rooms would be one of the major tasks for Viet Nam's tourism sector this year.
Previously, last May, the ministry asked the People's Committees of centrally-governed cities and provinces including Ha Noi, HCM City, and Da Nang to design plans for and boost the construction of public restrooms.
Accordingly, by the end of this year, at least 50 per cent of tourist destinations are expected to have public rest-rooms of proper quality for tourists to use. In the next two years, all tourist destinations across the country are expected to have qualifying rest-rooms.
At present, a majority of international and domestic tourists complain about the poor quality of such rest-rooms in addition to the shortage.
Nguyen Ngoc, an experienced tour guide, said that visitors usually paid much attention to the quality of public toilets.
An unhygienic toilet could not only bring down the quality of service at a particular tourist attraction but also damage the image of Vietnamese tourism in general, she said.
The conference also provided a forum to address other problems facing Viet Nam's tourism sector. A few examples: degrading tourism infrastructure, improper conservation of historical cultural sites, and a shortage of staff working in the sector in terms of both quality and quantity.
Restaurants, accommodations, and souvenirs have yet to meet demand while Vietnamese tourism's brand promotion has yet to be as effective as expected.
Nguyen Van Tuan, director of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, said that regional tourist co-operation was crucial to boost the national tourism industry.
The ministry and administration would help localities to invest and develop key tourism products, he said, adding that they were developing projects to boost marine tourism and border tourism among Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia.
He also urged enterprises to prepare for tougher competition.