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​‘Comfort as home’: Vietnam encourages businesses to open toilets to tourists for free

Saturday, August 18, 2018, 20:01 GMT+7

Visitors to tourist destinations in central Vietnam will no longer have to struggling finding a decent toilet to relieve themselves during their outings, as private businesses have volunteered to open their bathrooms to the public.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, on Friday officially launched an initiative where licensed businesses will open their toilet facilities to all anyone in need, without demanding a purchase or charging a fee.

Accordingly, pedestrians in major destinations across the country only have to find establishments with the white sign that reads “Comfort as home” when they need to answer the call of nature.

The idea was originally put forward by Nguyen Hong Son, vice chairman of Hai Chau District’s Business Association in the central city of Da Nang in 2015.

It is even more technologically advanced as people now can download the eponymous application, which will show them a map of establishments providing “Comfort as home” restrooms, from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

The initiative has yet to reach Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

“Comfort as home” sign is hung in front of a coffee shop in the central city of Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre
“Comfort as home” sign is hung in front of a coffee shop in the central city of Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre

According to Tran Chi Cuong, deputy director of the Da Nang Department of Tourism, the central city now has 460 establishments participating in the project, with organizers aiming to reach a goal of around 1,000 free public toilets by the end of 2018.

The project, after being initialized in Da Nang, was has been followed by many other nearby provinces.

Particularly, 70 businesses including restaurants, hotels and retailers have opened their restroom to anyone claiming dire need in the famous Hoi An Ancient Town in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam, as of December 2017.

It helps solve the problem that Hoi An is often deluged with many people during popular events, leading to a huge demand of restroom, according to Le Ngoc Tuong, deputy director of the Quang Nam Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

One hundred public toilets have been also offered for free by many businesses in the north-central province of Thua Thien- Hue, according to the provincial department of tourism’s deputy director Nguyen Van Phuc.

“We even print the free restrooms in some tourist maps and [present them] on the Facebook pages,” Phuc added.

While the construction of public toilet facilities at the state expenses is not timely available, the voluntary participation of the community has brought advantages to visitors, Tuong commented.

“Comfort as home” is available for free download on an iOS device.
“Comfort as home” is available for free download on an iOS device.

Bao Anh / Tuoi Tre News

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