It has long been known that rest rooms are an important and integral part of group travel. Buses with groups make regular stops at National Park Service visitor centers and highway information or visitor information locations. But so do FIT travelers who are driving an automobile or van.
A now, the understanding of the importance of the toilet, the public bathroom, the restroom, to the tourist has reached the point that there is an annual international awards ceremony for the best in the world: this past summer, the Second Annual International Toilet Tourism Awards were hosted in Sydney, Australia.
In a playfully worded, yet serious take on the subject—well designed and accessible bathrooms are critically important to those with disabilities or mobility issues—Richard Davison, a columnist for the Otago (NZ) Daily Times, laid out the case for, the reasons for, and the popularity of, the destination toilet. Including our edits, it went like this:
—Tourism businesses need people.
—People need toilets.
—Nicer, more aesthetic bathrooms add value to a destination’s brand
—Brand aware travelers remember and return to the destination brands they value.
—Or, in a sentence, build a better bathroom and they will come (and maybe go).
The move toward building better bathrooms seems to have caught on in recent years. Davison tells us of a facility in the nearby town of Roxburgh that cost $583,000 and included a canopy, living wall and original artwork from Bill and Michelle Clarke totaling $113,000. Now five years old, the bathroom reportedly has delivered an additional $1 million per year in tourist revenues.
Two of the 2018 International Toil Tourism Awards’ six winners are in the USA:
Best Location –– Hotel La Jolla (a Curio Collection by Hilton), Shores Drive, La Jolla, California. “Sitting on the 11th floor overlooking La Jolla and the sea, the restroom offers a breathtaking view of the coastal urban village of La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean off San Diego.”
Quirkiest Experience – Bowl Plaza, Lucas Kansas. “Bowl Plaza is a public restroom with bling! The restrooms, which took four years to build, are now a major attraction in Lucas, the small town grassroots arts capital of Kansas. The bathroom’s walls are covered inside and out with detailed mosaics created by local residents and artists. The entire building is shaped like a toilet tank. The entrance is designed like a raised toilet lid with benches that represent the curved toilet seat. The sidewalk to the loos flows from a large concrete toilet roll. Bowl Plaza is now very popular with residents and tourists and has its own guest register.”
For more information, visit: https://www.mytravelresearch.com/the-mytravelresearch-com-2018-international-toilet-tourism-award-winners-announced/