ASEAN Tourism Standards highlight importance of public rest rooms cleanliness

KOTA KINABALU: Cleanliness must be regarded as a basic service with a significant impact on the overall travel experience.

Private sector industry players must change their attitudes towards the overall environment and cleanliness aspects, especially the cleanliness of public restrooms, to gain a competitive advantage.

Therefore, businesses and operators are strongly urged to comply to these standards, which will  bring their businesses to new heights and burnish the international image of Malaysian tourism.

Cleanliness is one of the ASEAN Tourism Standards criteria and requirements outlined during the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2023 held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, from February 2 to 5.

The other areas are safety, security, health,  environmental policy, amenities and facilities which are essential to the overall travel experience.

The ATF 2023 under the theme “Journey to Wonderful Destinations”, emphasises ASEAN’s underlying strength and commitment to position 10 unique nations as one united destination in promoting intra-ASEAN and international travel. 

The highlight of the ATF event was the recognition and award of the prestigious ASEAN Tourism Standard Awards to 18 tourism businesses and stakeholders in the region.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister (MOTAC) Dato’ Sri Tiong King Sing and MOTAC Secretary General Saraya Arbi  attended the official announcement and awards ceremony on February 5.

Tourism service standardisation are regarded by the 10 ASEAN member countries as essential to improving the quality of tourism products and services.

And promoting responsible management among tourism businesses and stakeholders in the region to position ASEAN as an in-demand quality single destination.

This is in line with the ASEAN Strategic Tourism Plan 2016-2025.

The strategic plan states that: “By 2025, ASEAN will be a quality tourism destination offering a unique and diverse ASEAN experience.

“And will be committed to responsible, sustainable, inclusive and balanced tourism development, so as to contribute significantly to the socioeconomic well-being of the ASEAN people.”

As such, service providers from the public and private entities are advised to follow ASEAN guidelines and standards as a key strategy for rebuilding better and regaining tourist trust and confidence. 

The ASEAN tourism standards integrates and adapts various existing international and national standards, best practices, and guidelines, as well as ASEAN member states protocols, to reflect common regional parameters. 

ASEAN tourism businesses and destinations that comply with the standards were honoured in four categories of ASEAN Tourism Standard Awards at the ATF 2023.

They are  the 4th ASEAN Homestay Award which were won by Sungai Setar (Penang); Wong Tok Rendong Langkawi (Kedah); Taun Gusi, Kota Belud (Sabah); Bario Highland (Sarawak); and Labu Kubong (Perak).

The winners for the 3rd ASEAN Community Based Tourism (CBT) Award were Padas Farmstay, Tenom (Sabah); Mari-Mari Cultural Village, Inanam (Sabah); and Jonker Walk (Melaka).

The awardees for 2nd ASEAN Public Toilet Award were the public toilets of Lurah Bus Terminal (Pahang); Esplanade, Lumut (Perak); Mini Zoo Taman Teruntum (Pahang); Petron Stadium Hang Jebat (Melaka); and Teluk Mahkota Sedili (Johor).

For the 2nd ASEAN Spa Services Award, the winners were Spa Village Pangkor Laut Resort (Perak); The Ritz Carlton Spa Langkawi (Kedah); Iridium Spa thr St Regis Langkawi (Kedah); and Tranquillity Spa and Wellness (Selangor).

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