There are 121,070 swimming pools in Spain for public and community use, with an average age of 17 years old, according to a study conducted by Piscina & Wellness Barcelona and the Spanish Association of Swimming Pool Professionals (ASOFAP).
The need for maintenance, renovation or comprehensive reforms of these facilities offers interesting business opportunities for the swimming pool sector, which in Spain accounts for some 2,500 companies that employ more than 64,000 professionals.
The study analysed swimming pools considered to be of public use, which accounts for 31,105 units located in hotels; sports facilities; hydrotherapy and wellness centres, water parks and campsites.
The report also includes the 89,965 swimming pools for community use which are generally found in apartment blocks and rural accommodation. It is calculated that the total surface area of these facilities is 18.15 million square metres and the water volume they contain amounts to 25.2 million cubic metres.
The director of Piscina & Wellness Barcelona, Ángel Celorrio, emphasised the importance of the information in the report: ’For the first time we have information on the true size and situation of non-residential swimming pools in Spain.’
In a similar vein, the president of ASOFAP, Pedro Arrebola, remarked that as far as companies in the sector are concerned, there is ’a window of opportunity ripe for exploring in the sector of swimming pools for public and community use.’.
Arrebola advises ’approaching the different decisionmakers and influencers who operate in this market in order to stimulate the development of new swimming pools and update existing ones.’ This recommendation has been reflected by Piscina & Wellness Barcelona, which has invited buyers with specific projects and professionals involved in the fields of tourism, leisure, health and sport to visit the trade show.
According to the study, the average age of swimming pools in Spain for public and community use is 17 years old. It is estimated that more than 34,500 of them are over 20 years old. Some 70% of all the pools for public and collective use have never been renovated. By categories, sports facilities are those with the oldest swimming pools, while apartment owners’ associations and rural accommodation have the youngest ones. The report reveals that the people responsible for 12,591 swimming pools for public and collective us are planning to undertake renovations, 65% of them within the next two years.
From a geographical perspective, the bulk of non-residential swimming pools are found on the Mediterranean coast, with Andalusia, Catalonia and the Valencian Community being the autonomous regions with the largest number, each of them representing more than 10% of the total number of pools.
Swimming pools for public and community use are less seasonal than residential swimming pools, so the demand for products and equipment remains steady all year round.
These facilities also require renovations in the short and medium term with a view to updating their equipment to meet various regulations. The construction or renovation of aquatic facilities for tourism or recreational establishments also represents an important business opportunity. A significant increase in demand has been noted in this area, as it has been shown that improvements have an impact on occupancy levels, customer satisfaction and profitability.
The study lists the equipment that is most commonly found in public swimming pools. An automatic water treatment system is installed in 85% of the facilities. Security systems are also very widespread, as are automatic robots, pool bottom cleaners and LED lighting. The least common equipment are protective covers or roofs; water/energy saving systems; heating by heat pumps; hydromassage jets; counter-current swimming systems, and heating by solar power.
The most widely used products for water treatment, in 90% of cases, are the classic chemicals such as chlorine. Only in 5% of public swimming pools is active oxygen used, while 3% use saline electrolysis. In contrast, the main filtration system used is sand (91%).
The most commonly-used materials for cladding swimming pool walls are glass mosaic/ceramic tiles (75%). When it comes to swimming pool maintenance, in 65% of cases this is done by the facility’s employees, while the remaining 35% choose to outsource this service.
The experts also confirm that it is advisable for swimming pools to include the latest technological advances, such as the solutions provided by Internet of Things (IoT) systems for the sustainable use of resources, protecting the environment, increasing the profitability of swimming pools and improving users’ experience, regardless of whether they belong to sports centres, residents’ associations, hotels, water parks, campsites or wellness centres.
Residential swimming pools
Spain is fourth in the world and second in Europe in terms of the number of residential swimming pools in the country, with a current figure, according to the most recent estimates, of 1,018,000 pools. This means that the total residential, public and community pools in Spain comes to almost 1.2 million units. According to ASOFAP forecasts, more than 22,000 new swimming pools will be built in Spain in 2017, 9% more than last year.
The season for the swimming pool sector has started off on the right foot, sparked off by the early arrival of the summer weather which promises excellent commercial results this year. ASOFAP forecasts that sales will increase by between 8% and 10%, driven by products for replenishing, repairing and maintaining existing pools, which will account for 70% of sales. However, turnover from the construction of new pools will not be lagging far behind, and is expected to record an increase of 12%, according to ASOFAP.
The president of ASOFAP, Pedro Arrebola, believes that ’if all our growth forecasts come to fruition this year, in line with the upward trend of the last two years, in 2018 the swimming pool industry can finally wave goodbye to the economic crisis.’