Who pays for tourists to go?

My post on the sign on the door of a Singapore loo has generated comments  about who should pay for public loos.

This is one thing I don’t mind being rated for. Like a lot of country people, I use public loos in town when I’m at home. People who live in town might not need them in their own town but if they travel at all they must use them in other places paid for by other people.

The alternative to ratepayer funding is for someone to run it as a business.  The one in Singapore was a pay-to-go loo and I’ve encountered ones where you not only pay to go, you also pay per sheet of paper.

But I suspect that only works where there’s a high volume of users and no minimum wage.

The other option is for businesses to provide them for customers, as many do.

That may help attract custom, but not all travellers want to eat, drink  or buy everytime they need a loo.

The other point to consider when wondering who should fund loos, is what people would do if they couldn’t find a loo and the consequences of that justify public funding for me. It’s enough of a problem in the coutnry or bush, I don’t want to think about what might happen if their were no easily accessible public loos in towns.

2 Responses to Who pays for tourists to go?

  1. Caryl says:

    Until decimal currency was introduced in 1967, most public toilets charged a penny to use them, using a sort of primitive vending machine technology on each toilet door.

    It’s where the euphemism “spend a penny” comes from.

    Charging stopped in 1967 because the cost of converting them to take decimal coins was not economic.

    Public toilets provide economic benefit to a town. If you use a town’s public loo on a long trip there’s a good chance you’ll have a look round the shops at the same time.

    If you’re a tourist centre, you’ll want people to stay around. Well signposted loos are essential for this.

    Local government might like to look at a charging policy for tourist coaches which stop solely for the entire bus to use the loos and then drive off, sometimes leaving a real mess. This could be tricky to implement, because many of the loos in small towns do not have on-site staff.

    I’m not sure there’s an easy answer to this.

  2. pdm says:

    In 2004 I used a loo on the Rome railway station. A woman (probably aged 65/70) stood in the door and collected two euro from all users. She had a clear view of the urinals.

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