VIP cottage unit by Dunnies with a Difference Image Credit: My Travel Research

Boldly taking on the risk of sounding weird, don't we all love spacious, well-decorated bathrooms and restrooms? Having seen the one at Palazzo Versace, we know UAE has some of the most luxurious ones ever. 

These toilet awardees, however, are public toilets or tourism toilets. The owners of My Travel Research started this project to show the clear connection between clean and interesting toilets to tourism in those cities. According to My Travel Research, good loos encourage repeat travel visits to destinations and is an indicator of how the host country treats its visitors. 

Best Economic Contributor

Southern Highlands Welcome Centre, Australia

These loos were refurbished in 2015 on a low budget, featuring flowers, posters, audio reels, quirky fact stickers, and the most important of all, free Wi-Fi. Since then, visits to the centre increased from 60,000 to 72,000. The loos and the centre have achieved a customer satisfaction rating of 93 per cent.

Best location

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, Australia

Where else can you watch crocodiles bask on the shores of the lagoon or reef sharks hunt, as you go about your business? The loo is on a cliff overlooking the beach and waters of the Cobourg Marine Park. It is environment-friendly and has become an attraction in itself. 

Best Design (Joint)

Hahei Holiday Resort, Coromandel, New Zealand

Using local and recycled products along with carbon-efficient materials, the showers and loos at this resort are glammed-up versions of a backpacker's dream. The conveniences have light opaque roofing for natural light, open trusses and external gable ventilation, featuring recycled native timber. Some of the recycled additions include LED lights in old bottles and ceramic sinks from an old hospital.

Best Design (Joint)

The Kathleen Buzzacott Art Studio, Alice Springs, Central Australia

What else do you expect from a loo in an art studio? Built just a year ago in 2016, Kathleen added the loos for visitors who came to her studio. Her husband painted the toilets which complement the stunning landscape, and highlight the connection to native heritage and culture through the story-telling toilet doors. The doors also feature indigenous central desert dot paintings.

Quirkiest toilet experience and overall winners

Toowoomba Portable Toilets, Queensland, Australia

The manufacturers make these quirky experiential toilets for public events. Their winning range called 'Dunnies with a Difference' include designs such as the Rustic Cottage, the London Telephone Box, Brighton Beach House, and a VIP unit. Each one includes hand sanitation, hand wash and sunscreen stations - making them functional, hygienic and mobile.

Best accessible toilet

Arthurs Seat Park, Victoria, Australia

Built for tourists with disabilities and mobility limitations, and visitors with young children, older people or tourists from culturally diverse backgrounds (think Asian squat toilets), these toilets are all about inclusion and ease of access. Having opened in January 2017, they are still relatively new.


The overall winner (Toowoomba Portable Toilets) will receive a donation of AU$2000 (approximately Dh5,625) contributed to World Toilet Day in their name. They will also get a copy of every MyTravelResearch publication in 2017 (worth AU$8000 or around Dh22,500), along with access to tourism research events. Other category winners will receive the same, minus the donation to World Toilet Day.