China’s Great Leap Forward Become a Step Forward

China’s tourism industry is being urged by the government to play its part in keeping the country’s economy growing. Which is good news for companies involved in the tourism supply chain, including those that build lavatories.

According to recent reports, the country’s ‘toilet revolution’ continues to take hold and the public body tasked with maintaining this revolutionary zeal, the China National Tourism Administration, recently – and rather proudly –  announced that it had built 14,320 toilets in 2015 and upgraded a further 7,689.

Not content to rest on its…laurels, the agency announced that it intends to spend Rmb12.5 billion this year on building more toilets. That’s 1,366,646,524.95 pounds at today’s exchange rate which would keep Armitage Shanks busy for several years.

The Chinese tourist authorities are not just providing more facilities, they are keen to educate the local population on how to use them too. Its propaganda efforts (this is a revolution, after all) include producing stickers with slogans that exhort “one small step forward for you, one giant leap for civilised behaviour”. Not quite what Mao Tse-tung had in mind with his Great Leap Forward but progress nonetheless.

Revolutions are well known for stimulating outpourings of creativity and China’s toilet revolution is no different. In this instance it has sparked not national unrest but innovation in toilet design instead. On display at a recent event was an ‘internet-plus’ toilet, which features five lavatories on the upper section, while the lower section is an internet café.

Far be it for us at Explorer Travel Insurance to poke fun at this breakthrough but we did wonder who’d be called out if a leak were reported; a plumber or a cyber-security expert?

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