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Loo-construction drive on south China's tropical island of Hainan delights tourists

01-04-2011 15:33 BJT Special Report:Impression Hainan |

HAIKOU, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- China's southernmost island province of Hainan will soon have more public lavatories -- to the delight of its many tourists.

To address the shortage of facilities in public places on the island, the provincial government is paying a 50,000-yuan (7,570 U.S. dollars) subsidy for each newly-built public toilet.

Though most welcome the initiative, few locals want a new public toilet near their house.

LAVATORIES VS. TOURISM

To boost tourism on the island dubbed "China's Hawaii," the local government will spend 200 million yuan to build 1,587 lavatories over three years. More than 520 public toilets were built this year.

The island has a population of 6 million and attracts large numbers of Chinese and foreign tourists every year.

Haikou, the provincial capital, will spend nearly 40 million yuan over the next two years to build more than 200 public toilets. Twenty-two of them will be renovations of old toilets in the city's downtown area.

Sanya, a popular tourist resort, will build 134 new toilets.

A map of public toilets on the island will be given free-of-charge to both locals and tourists.

Wang Yong, the mayor of Sanya, spent a lot of time trying to find a toilet in the city in March. Eventually, a seaside restaurant let him use theirs.

"The restaurant boss let me in. But will ordinary people enjoy the same treatment?" Wang asked.

The issue has affected the image of the government, he said.

The people want more public toilets with private space and facilities for the disabled, he added.

Wei Liucheng, the Party secretary of the province, said public toilets are a symbol of modern civilization.

He also said they are important to the island's development as an international tourist Mecca.


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