13 January 2015

Good toilet facilities are good for business: MyTravelResearch.com

Source: Restroom Association Singapore website. Restroom Association Singapore maintains the Happy Toilet programme, and has an interactive map on its website which shows which toilets around Singapore have been rated three-, four-, five- and six-star Happy Toilets. The Happy Toilet grading initiative for public toilets was begun in 2003 and focuses on design, cleanliness, effectiveness, maintenance and user satisfaction.

Clean, reliable, functioning toilets are still hard to find around the world, says Bronwyn White, Co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com, a market research and marketing firm specialising in the travel, tourism and aviation industries.

"At MyTravelResearch.com we often see a disconnection between what travellers want and what the travel industry delivers. Destinations obsess about their product or service in a way that customers don't. They lose sight of the basics and what is important to customers," said White, noting that tourism toilet campaigns underway in Thailand, India, Indonesia and China.

"Toilets cross all barriers for both business and leisure travellers. Often the two are combined. We have reported toilet findings to destinations, airlines (big source of concern is aircraft toilets as well) and tour operators alike… the feedback is strong. Toilets are pretty well on the minds of nearly all travellers. And a source of worry that is consistent," White said.

White advises destinations, attractions, hotels, and dining establishments to upgrade their toilets for visitors, as good social media reviews could follow. She pointed out that those who are visiting the toilet might also purchase goods or services at the venue.

In the Asia Pacific region, toilets which have received positive attention include the "loo with a view" in Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia, and the Shell public toilet in Bohol in the Philippines which has attracted over 165,000 views on YouTube, White said.