People Innovation Excellence

Public Toilets

Tourism activities that are performed in urban area strongly supported by elements that are interrelated with each other. One of the supporting elements of tourism activities in the urban area is public sanitation facility. In the activities of urban tourism, sanitation facilities are the basic elements that just not needed by the tourists but also by residents in case the tourist activities are carried out primarily in the public and open space, the tourist biological needs to be facilitated by adequate public sanitation facilities. Public sanitation also pictures a country readiness to receive tourist as Greed noted a nation’s image is judged by its toilets as they are often the first thing that tourists see when travelling to a country. Adequate public toilets will increase tourism and benefit the whole economy (Greed, 2008)”.

The toilet is a fundamental starting point of every human being when dealing with the body’s metabolism. The toilet is a foundational start point where each of us deals di­rectly with our bodies and confronts whatever it provides, often on a schedule not of our own making (Molotch, 2010:2). Public sanitation facilities known as public toilets would be sought and used by people that a city must provide a facility that can accommodate the needs of its citizens while doing outdoor activities. In Indonesia, not only in small towns, but also in the larger cities provision of public toilets becoming something that is quite alarming.

In the context of tourism, activities within a destination, especially in big cities not only be seen as a result of economic growth and mobility of people who traveled, but the destination in addition to functioning as a tourist attraction also serves as a  place for socializing among residents and tourists (host and guest). As a tourist attraction and place of  interaction, a destination needs to be supported by adequate infrastructure for local residents, that also offers what is needed by tourists.

As a supporting element of tourism, the provision of social infrastructure such as good public sanitation contribute to a positive image of a tourist attraction. Page and Hall (2006) mentioned that urban tourism, either directly or indirectly, has become a tool to redesign the physical urban space, economic regeneration, job opening, promotion and re-imaging the city (destination), and help shape the city’s identity (destination ) in a new global system.

The calls to leave private vehicles and increase the use of public transport, cycling and walking would be difficult to apply when some supporting infrastructure is not available as public sanitation. Greed conducted with increasing demands for people to leave their cars at home and go by public transport, one would imagine that better toilet facilities at transport termini and interchanges would be an obvious necessity, particularly in view of the amount of delay and hanging around in cold weather that our inefficient transport system generates (Greed, 200:147).

People in the western world had already enjoyed the use of public toilets in better condition and in other ways practising different ways of using the facilities. For example in the context of water use is much less and were replaced with other materials such as toilet paper use is very common in the western world, so that the condition of the public toilets are usually drier and cleaner. Meanwhile for people in the eastern side, the use of toilet paper is something that can not be received in relation with the religious and culture reasons, so as to ensure the provision of public toilets will always be associated with the provision of clean water. This conditions could lead to wet toilets provisions and public health problems, such as diarrhea, hepatitis and the other contageous diseases.

Another issue that emerged with the provision of public sanitation is the access to the means themselves. Provision of public sanitation in many cases do not give the same equal rights to users, especially users with special needs. Many local governments or public sanitation facility management put sanitation on the location of the hidden or underground area which are usually difficult to access by elders and users with wheelchairs or with other special needs. In the developing countries the conditions of public sanitation facilities may reduce the country’s image as a tourism destination.

Public toilets invite us to consume the signs of cleanliness, which usually have little to do with actual cleanliness or health  (Barcan, 2010:37).  One indicator of the cleanliness of sanitation facilities is the scent wafted of surrounding air when one is near the sanitation facilities. Maintenance of good sanitation facility also started from ones behavior. Kangding mentioned that a lot of public toilet users behavior are not as intended. Many users used sit-pan toilet in a squatting position, this can also damage the toilet itself, which leads to increased maintenance costs. Another thing related to this behavior is that most public sanitation facilities provide water storage containers, water often is left by user to drip causing the floor is always wet and burdensome in the maintenance process. “The good image of modern toilets will go down the pan if the users don’t change their bad habits,…some people still leave shoe prints on the toilet seats, or even take the whole roll of toilet paper away” (Kangding, 2010:74).

The need for coordination among government agencies, especially in raising public awareness of sanitation facilities, particularly in the tourism businesses for building better environment by CSR is a necessary to increase the number of tourist activities in a tourist destination.

Tourism activities that are performed in urban area strongly supported by elements that are interrelated with each other. One of the supporting elements of tourism activities in the urban area is public sanitation facility. In the activities of urban tourism, sanitation facilities are the basic elements that just not needed by the tourists but also by residents in case the tourist activities are carried out primarily in the public and open space, the tourist biological needs to be facilitated by adequate public sanitation facilities. Public sanitation also pictures a country readiness to receive tourist as Greed noted a nation’s image is judged by its toilets as they are often the first thing that tourists see when travelling to a country. Adequate public toilets will increase tourism and benefit the whole economy (Greed, 2008)”.

The toilet is a fundamental starting point of every human being when dealing with the body’s metabolism. The toilet is a foundational start point where each of us deals di­rectly with our bodies and confronts whatever it provides, often on a schedule not of our own making (Molotch, 2010:2). Public sanitation facilities known as public toilets would be sought and used by people that a city must provide a facility that can accommodate the needs of its citizens while doing outdoor activities. In Indonesia, not only in small towns, but also in the larger cities provision of public toilets becoming something that is quite alarming.

In the context of tourism, activities within a destination, especially in big cities not only be seen as a result of economic growth and mobility of people who traveled, but the destination in addition to functioning as a tourist attraction also serves as a  place for socializing among residents and tourists (host and guest). As a tourist attraction and place of  interaction, a destination needs to be supported by adequate infrastructure for local residents, that also offers what is needed by tourists.

As a supporting element of tourism, the provision of social infrastructure such as good public sanitation contribute to a positive image of a tourist attraction. Page and Hall (2006) mentioned that urban tourism, either directly or indirectly, has become a tool to redesign the physical urban space, economic regeneration, job opening, promotion and re-imaging the city (destination), and help shape the city’s identity (destination ) in a new global system.

The calls to leave private vehicles and increase the use of public transport, cycling and walking would be difficult to apply when some supporting infrastructure is not available as public sanitation. Greed conducted with increasing demands for people to leave their cars at home and go by public transport, one would imagine that better toilet facilities at transport termini and interchanges would be an obvious necessity, particularly in view of the amount of delay and hanging around in cold weather that our inefficient transport system generates (Greed, 200:147).

People in the western world had already enjoyed the use of public toilets in better condition and in other ways practising different ways of using the facilities. For example in the context of water use is much less and were replaced with other materials such as toilet paper use is very common in the western world, so that the condition of the public toilets are usually drier and cleaner. Meanwhile for people in the eastern side, the use of toilet paper is something that can not be received in relation with the religious and culture reasons, so as to ensure the provision of public toilets will always be associated with the provision of clean water. This conditions could lead to wet toilets provisions and public health problems, such as diarrhea, hepatitis and the other contageous diseases.

Another issue that emerged with the provision of public sanitation is the access to the means themselves. Provision of public sanitation in many cases do not give the same equal rights to users, especially users with special needs. Many local governments or public sanitation facility management put sanitation on the location of the hidden or underground area which are usually difficult to access by elders and users with wheelchairs or with other special needs. In the developing countries the conditions of public sanitation facilities may reduce the country’s image as a tourism destination.

Public toilets invite us to consume the signs of cleanliness, which usually have little to do with actual cleanliness or health  (Barcan, 2010:37).  One indicator of the cleanliness of sanitation facilities is the scent wafted of surrounding air when one is near the sanitation facilities. Maintenance of good sanitation facility also started from ones behavior. Kangding mentioned that a lot of public toilet users behavior are not as intended. Many users used sit-pan toilet in a squatting position, this can also damage the toilet itself, which leads to increased maintenance costs. Another thing related to this behavior is that most public sanitation facilities provide water storage containers, water often is left by user to drip causing the floor is always wet and burdensome in the maintenance process. “The good image of modern toilets will go down the pan if the users don’t change their bad habits,…some people still leave shoe prints on the toilet seats, or even take the whole roll of toilet paper away” (Kangding, 2010:74).

The need for coordination among government agencies, especially in raising public awareness of sanitation facilities, particularly in the tourism businesses for building better environment by CSR is a necessary to increase the number of tourist activities in a tourist destination.


Published at : Updated
Written By
Kasih Cakaputra Komsary
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