Arrivals & Departures Tourism’s game of thrones

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Welcome to World Toilet Day. Yes, apparently it’s a thing.

The dunny, loo, bog, throne, thunderbox – whatever you may call it, the humble toilet plays an essential role in successful tourism.

This weekend we are, ahem, flush will all things lavatory. 

Most of us have been there. Shocking toilets often come hand-in-hand with travel, forever etched into our memories. (I’m looking at you South America. Three months backpacking through the continent gave me many toilet visions I would rather erase. Shout out to my travelling companion and chief toilet vetter, Julie). 

More seriously, the UN says inadequate toilet facilities cause disease, environmental health challenges, increased mortality, lack of productivity at work and security compromises for women.

One in 10 people still resort to open defecation daily. The UN is seeking to create adequate toilet provision for everyone by 2030 creating awareness with World Toilet Day.  

The availability and quality of toilets also impacts tourism in developed and lesser-developed economies, according to tourism industry research consultancy has launched the Toilet Tourism Awards to show the link between supplying good toilets and tourism, as well as raising awareness of sanitation and toilet provision, especially in developing economies.

The Awards cover 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), best accessible toilet, and quirkiest toilet experience.

Toilet owners in tourism destinations around the world can express their interest in the awards here and MTR will send out the forms. Submissions close on April 1, 2017.

The winners will be announced at the Travel and Tourism Research Association International Conference in Quebec, Canada, on June 22.