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Play www.parkworld-online.com


Inflating the industry I


nflatable aqua parks have seen a surge of growth across the UK and the rest of the world in recent years, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.


Combining the high-octane excitement of a water park with robust inflatable elements, aqua parks are carving out a unique niche in the amusements industry. Park World spoke to Aquaglide to find out more… The inflatable outdoor leisure products market saw a


CAGR of 8.9% from 2011 to 2016, according to a report issued by Frost & Sullivan*, an independent market research agency - a rate which is growing at a much faster pace than non-inflatable products. This acceleration is driven by an increased preference for convenience, flexibility, and portability – but the main draw of an inflatable aqua park for potential visitors is its inclusive nature.


something to enjoy at an aqua park, he maintains. “If you can swim, you’ll have a great time. Usually parents with school age children are the most likely to organise a day out.” Aqua parks have also profited from an increased public


At an aqua park, all of the family can join in the fun


regardless of skill level or experience. The importance of the parks as a place for recreation rather than more intense sport is highlighted in their successes alongside water sports ventures, sailing clubs, and wakeboard centres. Typically, these activities can experience a limited draw, requiring a level of skill and having an ‘extreme’ reputation – the reversed criteria that an aqua park requires can expand that draw and boost business. “With a larger market comes more sales, wider marketing


coverage and in general a more prosperous business,” says Aquaglide’s Scott Taylor. Everyone aged six to 106 can find


awareness of the benefits of regular exercise. This factor, in combination with the fast-paced modern lifestyle, lends itself to the hour-long sessions provided by an inflatable park. Millennials are leading the fitness-focused charge, taking part in more recreational activities and adopting more holistic approaches to health and wellness. Though inflatable aqua parks are customisable enough to be installed at most sites, there are things to consider when planning. Fresh water, non-tidal locations make for an easier setup and provide more reliable conditions, and Aquaglide aqua parks have a minimum depth requirement of 1.21m. They can also be set up indoors. There are currently hundreds of Aquaglide aqua parks open across Europe and the USA, the world’s biggest markets for outdoor leisure products, with 29 located in the United Kingdom and Ireland. These parks are all independent businesses choosing to partner with Aquaglide, who provide the park’s design, 2D and 3D modelling, logo creation, and even pre-launch marketing. As for the park itself, new owners can select a hands-free installation plan where Aquaglide takes care of the installation itself, or, explains Scott, “we create the install plan for them and guide them through it with whichever level of service they require. Service and maintenance is available, however we try to encourage the sites to learn enough of their product to do it themselves, meaning they pay less over the years and become both better maintained parks and more knowledgeable operators at the same time. We encourage parks to do this section themselves and then invest the savings made by being self sufficient into growing the park for the following season.” Inflatable outdoor leisure products are forming a niche yet


fast growing segment of the overall outdoor leisure products market, driven by the physical and social rewards that such activities may install in individuals, families and other groups. And, meeting a number of increasingly popular leisure trends – from relaxation to sociability to enhancing skills and facilitating adventure – aqua parks are a phenomenon that clearly has staying power. Watch this space! *http://iis.aastocks.com/20171116/002974914-14.PDF


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