04-04-2024 Market studies

Swimming pools: a key measure for transforming the tourism industry

Swimming pools and aquatic facilities are changing in synergy with tourism. Find out why and how to put water at the heart of your strategy.

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To get a handle on how tourism is developing, you must understand the modern tourist. They are weary of scorching temperatures and keen on wellness and aquatic activities, and this is giving vacation facilities a new push to adapt. Swimming pools and other aquatic facilities are becoming an indispensable feature, adding value and making a real difference between establishments of the same standing. Analyzing a trend that keeps gaining momentum.

 

Swimming pools and tourism: an inseparable pair

 

In Italy, the spa sector exploded during the 2023 Christmas vacation, attracting a young clientele seduced by thermal grottos, swim spas and saunas. Hotels in many spa resorts, including Montegrotto Terme (Veneto), Montecatini Terme (Tuscany) and Salsomaggiore Terme (Parma), were fully booked for New Year's Eve. This trend reflects the growth of the Italian swimming pool industry, which exceeded 1.2 billion euros in sales in 2022, 15% of which came from community facilities, particularly tourist facilities (1). 

 

The same is true elsewhere in Europe: 1 in 3 French-speaking Belgians believe that a swimming pool is an essential criterion when choosing a vacation destination... including when it comes to heading for the French slopes, the choice of 58% of Belgians who want to vacation in the mountains and enjoy board sports (2). 

 

The popularity of swimming pools during vacation is such that they are even the source of disputes in hotels that are very popular with tourists. Guests are willing to fight over a well-placed deckchair at the edge of the pool. A hotel on the Greek island of Rhodes was ordered by a German court to compensate tourists who were denied deckchairs (3).

 

tourisme et piscine
A couple enjoys a swimming pool at a mountain resort.
© Alena Ozerova / Adobe Stock


 

Tourism is changing, and swimming pools are a part of the transition

 

With global warming and a lack of snow, high mountain tourism must reinvent its business model if it is to survive. In the Swiss Alps, some resorts have decided to invest in natural swimming pools to attract visitors all year round and increase the range of activities (4). Even after the Covid-19 crisis, swimming pools remained a reliable way of attracting holidaymakers for the open-air hotel business.

 

Repeated heat waves in the Mediterranean basin are also driving tourists to northern Europe. In Norway, the creation of new flight routes along with increasingly hot summers is driving up demand from tour operators (5). Belgium is also preparing to welcome more tourists weary of fires and scorching temperatures (6). TUI, Europe's largest tour operator, has said it is concentrating on new destinations further north.

 

Over the next few years, the cards will be reshuffled, and new destinations will emerge from this change in tourist flows, inevitably raising the question of the infrastructure needed to welcome these tourists. Of course, aquatic and wellness facilities will be part of this: the swimming pool industry must be prepared to meet the demand! 
 

Provide aquatic facilities that respect the environment, and at the same time keep your budget under control

 

It is absolutely possible to invest in aquatic facilities and also meet environmental challenges. The pool and spa industry has worked wonders in terms of water and energy use. Tourist facilities have access to a multitude of solutions that will enable them to attract more customers, without impacting the profitability of their facility. On the contrary!

 

These sustainable solutions are within your reach: Piscine Global offers you an e-book entirely dedicated to guiding you on how to operate a community swimming pool adapted to your customers' needs.

 

  • Get inspiration from concrete examples
  • Anticipate tomorrow's trends
  • Find technical solutions
     
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Swimming pools and aquatic facilities are changing in synergy with tourism. Seize this opportunity to develop your business by visiting the Piscine Global show, the leading trade show for community swimming pool professionals and operators. You will find all the answers you need to give your customers an unforgettable vacation!

 

(1) Il Sole 24 Ore: Il turismo traina la crescita delle piscine: nel 2024 ateso un +8%
(2) La Libre: Vacances à la montagne: "Pour 1 Belge francophone sur 3, la présence d'une piscine est indispensable"
(3) BFMTV: Un hôtel grec condamné à indemniser des touristes allemands qui n'ont pas obtenu de transats
(4) RTS: Des "piscines naturelles" pour développer le tourisme de montagne en toute saison
(5) L'Opinion: Tourisme: le nord de l’Europe attire de plus en plus de voyageurs
(6) RTS: La Belgique se prépare à accueillir un nouveau public de touristes fuyant le chaud

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