Research carried out by MyTravelResearch.com co-founders Carolyn Childs and Bronwyn White has found that tourists stopping to relieve themselves can actually boost the local visitor economy. Talking about the facility in tourist locations could lead to more people visiting that destination. From this research has come the 2017 International Toilet Tourism Awards which has been able to show a distinct correlation between the toilets on offer and tourism successes.
The winner of the inaugural years’ awards have been announced. With thirty entries submitted by the deadline which was on the 15th of June, judges have chosen six winners from around the world.
There were six different categories as part of the 2017 International Toilet Tourism Awards which were; Best Economic Contributor; Best Location; Best Design; Quirkiest Toilet Experience; Best Accessible Toilet, and a Special Mention category. The introduction of these awards could also lead to even more of a boost to the local economy, with the toilets becoming a tourist attraction in their own right.
The Southern Highlands Welcome Centre on Main St in Mittagong, Australia has been announced as Best Economic contributor, with the loos being refurbished in 2015 and flowers, posters, audio reel and quirky facts decorating the toilets as well as free Wi-Fi. The Centre has seen an increase in visitors from 60,000 to 72,000 between 2015 and 2016, local product sales increased by 19%. The expenditure by visitors has meant that support of 2500 jobs in the local area which has increased 9%.
There was a joint winner announced for the category of Best Design. The first was the Hahei Holiday Resort in New Zealand offering a toilet and shower facility that is part of a glamping experience and conceptualises eco friendly beachfront coast chic, with reused products, as much natural light utilised as possible and LED lights set into old beer bottles. The secon winner was the Kathleen Buzzacott Art Studio in Alice Springs, Australia with the toilets built in 2016 for convenience of visitors. The loos have been constructed in order to complement the landscape as well as featuring story telling doors with indigenous central desert dot paintings included.