You don’t need to be a nuclear scientist to know that if you want rich, decent, spending tourists to come to the Philippines, make sure they have a comfortable, pleasant experience and not a disgusting one.
Therefore, all that tourism budget spent on joining trade fairs abroad, bringing archaic Bayanhiyan dancers, and planning all sorts of ad campaigns are all worthless, if the tourist comes here and finds our toilets disgusting, with no flush, no toilet paper, and everything gross you can imagine.
Philippines losing $40 million to poor sanitation, dirty toilets
Bea Cupin/KBK, GMA News
Think your lunch is the biggest possible loss after visiting a dirty and unkempt public toilet? Think again.
According to a 2008 study by the Economic of Sanitation Initiative (ESI), a project under the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, the Philippines losses over P77.8 billion annually due to poor sanitation.
While most of the losses are felt in the health sector, a percentage of the losses is also felt in the country’s tourism sector.
According to ESI, “the total number of tourists choosing a country for their holiday is partially related to the general sanitary conditions of the country.” One of these factors include the presence of toilets that offer comfort and privacy in hotels, restaurants and bus stations.
ESI estimated tourism losses at around $40 million in their report. In a report on GMA News’ “State of the Nation Address,” Steve Dailisan traveled through parts of the North Luzon Expressway and reported that many of the expressway’s toilets are in varying degrees of disarray—from the absence of running water, soap and tissue paper, to a general lack of upkeep and maintenance.
The ESI reported that while most developing countries reported double-digit growth in tourism, the Philippines’ performance from 1994-2004 only grew by an average annual rate of 5 percent. A decline in tourist expenditures was also reported in the same time period.
Recently, the country’s toilets made it to the headlines after a travel website listed the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the worst airport in Asia, due in part to the airport’s filthy toilets.