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Waterpark Profile

When it debuted last summer, Splashworld® Provence enjoyed the distinction of being the first new waterpark to open in France since the mid 1980s, but it might not be the last. Indeed, Splashworld founder Frederic Bouvard is not done yet and is already in negotiations on new sites at home and abroad. Here he tells Park World readers about his experience in Provence and why he is eager to develop a global waterpark brand.

ABOVE: Fred Bouvard MAIN IMAGE: Da Wave surf simulator

Splashworld “

We are

now aiming at duplicating the

Splashworld formula not only in France or Europe, but globally. There are so many


where there is virtually

nothing so I think there is great

potential to develop an international waterpark chain

28 FEBRUARY 2016 F

rance is the world’s most visited country in term of number of tourists, significantly ahead of the US, Spain and China. Yet, it only ranks third in term of revenue

generated by tourism. As much as it is famous for the beauty of its landscapes, or the quality of its food, France is globally under-developed when it comes to waterparks. Thus, although it may not be the most entrepreneur-friendly place in the world, it made sense to open our first Splashworld park here.

It took quite some research, but we found what we believe

to be the ideal location. Nestled in the heart of beautiful Provence, right off the A7, Europe busiest highway, with a 4- lane direct access from the highway toll gate, the park is located in the city of Monteux, near Avignon. In France only the largest themes parks are located by a highway, all other parks are in the middle of the country, or in resort cities by

Aloha Racer/wave pool

The French waterpark brand with international ambition

the coast, as in the case of existing French waterparks, which make them difficult to access. We have an amazing 16 million people in our catchment area during the operating season, with no competition, an actual unique opportunity. In addition to numerous tourists, we benefit from a significant resident base which makes our business less tourist dependent (a good thing in case the economic environment turns really bad), while it allows us to develop various strategies to create repeat visitation. Now, nothing being ever granted, we also needed to

ensure the park would be attractive enough to draw large crowds. Pursuant to that effect, Splashworld Provence offers a unique attraction mix. Thus, among other signature attractions supplied by Polin Waterparks, the park features Europe highest freefall slide (33m), Europe’s longest lazy river

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