AH, the toilet—a sanctuary, a safe space, and apparently something that can be a competitive advantage for the tourism industry.

According to research done by My Travel Research co-founders Carolyn Childs and Bronwyn White, restroom quality makes a huge difference in how tourists perceive destinations. While clean and well-maintained toilets make for a positive tourist experience, accessible, thoughtfully designed —and even quirky and entertaining toilets—encourage tourists to part with their hard-earned cash and even go for repeat visits.

Childs and White went on to found the International Toilet Tourism Awards in 2017, which recognized toilets in six categories: Best Tourism Economic Contributor, Best Location, Best Design, Quirkiest Toilet Experience, Best Accessible Toilet, and Strategic Commitment to Toilet Tourism. In a website post promoting the 2021 edition of the awards program, Childs highlighted three points showing the positive impact of clean toilets on tourism:

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