Ahead of World Toilet Day on 19 November, MyTravelResearch.com says there are clear linkages between better health, clean toilets and successful tourism
The opening of the awards will take place in the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre in Mittagong, NSW, Australia. The public loos at the centre won an award in 2017 for Best Economic Contributor to the local economy.
In 2018 there will be public toilet award categories for Best Location, Best Design, Quirkiest Toilet Experience, Best Accessible Toilet, Best Economic Contributor, and Overall Winner.
“The humble public toilet in a tourism destination drives visitation,” says Bronwyn White, co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com, the organizer of the toilet awards, which is passionate about good loos in tourism destinations. “Good toilets encourage people to stay longer and spend more than a penny. Let’s just say they improve an area’s bottom line.”
Being a toilet tourism award winner can bring recognition to a small business.
“We are still riding the wave of success for being joint winner of Best Design award in the inaugural Toilet Tourism Awards,” says Kathleen Buzzacott, proprietor of the Art Studio, Alice Springs, central Australia. “It is a bragging point for us, and visitors always want a tour of the toilets when they hear our artistic loos won an award!”
Creative, hygienic and functional public conveniences appeal to all users. For example, good toilet provision is an issue of access for people with disabilities. Tourists in wheelchairs prefer to know in advance if there are facilities for them.
World Toilet Day
While the International Toilet Tourism Awards is a fun initiative to encourage better loos in tourism destinations, MyTravelResearch.com endorses the efforts of the United Nations to provide adequate toilets in poor countries where public health and toilet sanitation are inadequate.
The United Nations holds World Toilet Day on 19 November each year to draw attention to the fact that 360,000 children under the age of five die annually due to diarrhoea; 2.3 billion people do not have basic sanitation services at home; an estimated 600 million people share a toilet or latrine with other households; and around 892 million people, mostly in rural areas, defecate in the open.
The implications for disease control, especially among children, and security for women are real. The UN says 1.8 billion people drink unimproved drinking water that has no protection from contamination from faeces.
“If there’s one thing that unites humanity, it’s the call of nature,” says Carolyn Childs, co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com. “But depending on where we live, it’s not always possible to dispose of our bodily waste safely and responsibly.”
As part of this topic, the UN and MyTravelResearch.com are asking the question, ‘Where does our poo go?’ For billions of people around the world, sanitation systems are either non-existent or ineffective.
“Poo gets out into the environment and spreads killer diseases, seriously undermining progress in health and child survival,” says Childs. “Even in wealthy countries, treatment of wastewater can be far from perfect, leading to rivers and coastlines that cannot be safely fished in or enjoyed naturally.”
White adds: “The awards are fun. The sanitation challenge in poor economies is real. Access to a good loo for everyone is urgent. It’s time we got our sh*t together and made things better.”
MyTravelResearch.com is a market research and marketing firm specializing in the travel, tourism and aviation industries. Its specialty is providing insights that are actionable.