WASHINGTON, USA: It has been the ruin of many a pleasant outing: Nature calls, but there's nowhere to go. Now, a new website is making it easier for tourists to get much needed relief when travelling in an unfamiliar city or town.
People in New Orleans are offering the use of their toilets for a fee. Image: The Next Web
The site, Airpnp, is modelled after the popular lodging website Airbnb, in which homeowners make their spare rooms or unoccupied dwellings available to paying lodgers for a fee - often considerably less than the cost of a hotel stay.
In a similar vein, users of Airpnp are matched with bars, restaurants, offices and homes where they can pay to use the loo, usually for a fee of five dollars or less.
The idea was the brainchild of Max Gaudin and Travis Laurendine, two New Orleans natives - they call themselves "entrepeeneurs" - who have encountered the problem frequently over the years during that city's riotous Mardi Gras festivities.
Fat Tuesday celebrations in the southern US city, which were held on Tuesday (4 March), are marked by an abundance of drinking but too few places to relieve oneself.
The bathroom shortage prompts some revellers to resort to public urination - a criminal offense. Airpnp solves that problem by connecting people willing to share the toilets in their private bathrooms with strangers willing to pay up to five dollars for the privilege.
"When there aren't enough bathrooms nearby for the amount of people in any given location Airpnp is there to save the day," its website said.
Users can select from pictures posted on the site, which also have descriptions of the amenities. "They are able to rate their pee experience afterwards so others can see how each restroom stacks up," the Airpnp website said.
In addition to the site's dozens of loos in the United States, most of which so far are concentrated in the New Orleans area, there are also about 120 bathrooms posted in Europe on Airpnp.
The site so far is available only on the Internet, although its founders say a smartphone app is in the works.
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