"It's time for destinations to smell the roses. Great toilets drive visitation," says Bronwyn White, Tourism Strategist and co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com. "We know this from many years of tourism research. Good toilets provide a valid reason to stop at a destination. Not only will visitors go to the toilet, they may go for a meal, or visit local shops and attractions. Toilets are a vital and underestimated part of the global visitor economy," White adds.
The awards have six categories: Overall Winner, Best Tourism Economic Contributor (for when people stop at a toilet in a destination and stay on to spend more than a penny), Best Location (where the toilets have views and maybe considered an attraction in themselves), Best Design (architectural brilliance in toilets, visual design and creativity), Quirkiest Toilet Experience (relating to local heritage, fun, or otherwise noteworthy), and Best Accessible Toilet.
The overall winner will receive an AU$2000 donation contributed to World Toilet Day in their name and a copy of every MTR research publication in 2017 (worth AU$8000), and access to tourism research events. Other category winners will receive the same, minus the donation to World Toilet Day. "This is the chance for toilet owners in tourism to wipe the floor with the competition," says White. "I like to think of the Tourism Awards as the tourism industry's own Game of Thrones."
MyTravelResearch.com created the annual Toilet Tourism Awards to also raise awareness of UN World Toilet Day, which takes place on 19th November each year.