Armenia pushes tourism development – with cleaner toilets
Armenia has set a course to tackle what the government perceives as the biggest issue in the tourism industry: the lack of clean and proper public toilets.
A government meeting held earlier today on January 9 discussed the issue at unexpected length.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan proposed in all serious to shut down restaurants and gas stations that do not have suitable toilets.
PM Pashinyan: Clean bathrooms make for a civilised country
Like previous governments, the revolutionary government of PM Pashinyan has made the development of the tourism sector one of its priorities.
Already in 2020, the government ensured the entry of low-cost airliners into the country to provide for an influx of tourists, with Ryanair and Wizz Air carrying out or planning flights from Rome, Milan, Vilnius and Vienna.
Despite this achievement, Pashinyan noted that the state of public toilets is the sector’s biggest problem: he says it is not only a matter of hygiene and cleanliness, but an indicator of how ‘civilised’ a country is, and that institutions whose bathrooms fail to meet certain standards should be closed.
“It may seem ridiculous that we should discuss such issues here…But when you see gilded chairs in a five-story restaurant, and then you open the door to the toilet and it seems that you are in a disaster zone… It is unacceptable to build a restaurant for half a million dollars, and then to be shy about spending an extra 200-300 dollars on necessary sanitary conditions. It is necessary to ban, close, bankrupt all those businessmen who put gold-plated chairs in their restaurants yet have broken and dirty toilets.”
The bathrooms are gas stations did not escape criticism either.
Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia Suren Papikyan said that inspections were carried out at all gas stations located on interstate routes. According to the results, 80% of gas stations already have normal bathrooms.