Interviews: the swimming pool market around the world
18 Apr 2019

Piscine Global Europe 2018 attracted 65% of exhibitors from 32 countries. It is a truly international show and a unique opportunity for pool sector people to find out what opportunities exist around the world. At the last show, we interviewed several international representatives to give you an overview of this multifaceted market.

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Argentina

“In our country owning a swimming pool is a symbol of social standing and wealth, so few commercial swimming pools are built. Currently, politics are having a negative impact on the pool market as we are in a recession. Argentinians find it difficult to save money but that will probably change next year with the election of a new president. Before investing in a swimming pool consumers are waiting to know who will be elected.”

Victor Marinescu — Director of Piletas

Australia

“Pools are a cultural phenomenon in Australia! We have 1.4 million spas and swimming pools for a population of 25 million, which makes Australia one of the biggest markets in this sector in the world. One major difference is that 70% of our swimming pools have salt electrolysis water purifiers. Our industry is very responsible when it comes to climate hazards. Our country suffers from droughts and everyone is concerned by water protection. That’s why we are increasingly looking for innovations that protect the environment.”

Lindsay McGrath — CEO of SPASA Australia

A host of innovations to discover for pool and spa markets!

Austria

“More and more Austrian families want their private swimming pool. This year, the heat wave generated 25% additional pool sales! Mostly buyers are preparing for future summers with pools in which to cool down in their own home. Our public swimming pools are 50 years old and need an in-depth restoration. The construction of new commercial swimming pools is not a big market as every Austrian city already has one.”

Raimund Wurth — CEO of Happy Pool

Brazil

“After a depression over the last few years and due to the new government and a range of new economic measures, we expect the pool market to grow again. Our big plus is solar energy as half the solar power installations in Brazil are for swimming pools! There are also opportunities for innovations addressing sustainable development: IoT (the Internet of Things) – which makes it possible to automate pool maintenance, and very energy-efficient materials.”

Marcelo Mesquita — Executive Secretary of the ANAPP

Sustainable development trends in the swimming pool sector

Czech Republic

“The pool market is growing rapidly. The Czech Republic is a small country, but we have a high number of renovated water parks and public swimming pools. In the private sector, DIY has made swimming pools more affordable and after a few years of use owners tend to trade up. Water shortages are a problem, however. In heat waves filling pools is forbidden and in recent years bans have been increasingly frequent. But curiously, when there are restrictions due to droughts, the following season is inevitably good for the pool sector, even if that seems illogical!”

Petr Horak — Vagner Pool Sales Manager

Germany

“Germany has a very buoyant economy. As savings accounts do not pay high interest rates, consumers purchase items for their homes, including pools. Several trends can be observed in this sector, for example people are more worried about their health and demand is booming for luxury and customized items such as made-to-measure pools. There is a big market for private commercial swimming pools because the State lacks the money to renovate public swimming pools. And, of course, energy saving is a real concern.”

Ute Wanschura — President of BSW

India

“The pool market in India is very different from the rest of the world as we have over 200 water parks and many commercial pools, but very few private constructions. We have many rivers but they are polluted by industry and agriculture so the priority is not to fill a swimming pool but to access clean water. However, this is changing because the country is developing, and there is an opportunity for innovations in this field. But the government makes it very difficult for foreign companies to set up in India.”

Gyanesh Singh Aka Gary — APAC Integrated

Israel

“170 pools are built a year in Israel. The government is active in public pool restoration and designs them to protect users from the sun. This is why pools in Israel are mostly indoors. In terms of opportunities, the country is very open to innovations for fitness and in-water leisure and sporting activities. Compared with Israel, Europe is still rather traditional!”

Avi Medina — Founder of Watfit Concept

Japan

“Japan has faced strong competition from Chinese cut-price pool products but Chinese prices are rising so Japanese products are becoming competitive again – particularly as we are recovering from our economic crisis. Moreover, the Japanese have high standards and our pool market quality is famous – and now even exported to Europe.”

Joost Osterloh — Territory Manager of Melspring

Senegal

“Senegal has a population of 15 million, 4.5 million of which live in Dakar. Currently, 1,500 inhabitants have swimming pools. Apart from hotels and holiday resorts, only the wealthy own pools, but the trend is growing.”

Ibrahima Ndoye — Consultant for Consortium Services 

Switzerland

“The Swiss swimming pool market is doing well with few fluctuations. We have observed that when the Swiss get older, they prefer to exploit the potential of their own homes rather than signing up for a multiplicity of leisure opportunities. Pools are popular as they encourage family gatherings! The major threats to the pool sector are regulations and building permits. We also see the effects of global warming with the wonderful weather we have had this year as there is less water available.”

Pierre Girod — CEO of Girod Piscines SA

USA

“Both above-ground and in-ground pools are increasingly popular. Consumers have a higher purchasing power and want to spend their vacation close to home (“staycation”), leading to an increase in sales and new public swimming pools. In addition, summers are longer and hotter: there were 205 days of sunshine this year in the State of Michigan. The market is also developing for artificial intelligence but for safety reasons this technology cannot be fully deployed for the moment. For example, you can open a swimming pool shutter remotely, but not close it as you could trap somebody in the water.”

Mitch Price — Sales Representative for Almost Heaven Saunas

Vietnam

“Since the Eighties the pool market has been growing and there are now 300 specialized companies in this sector in Vietnam. Over the last 5 years, hotels have installed swimming pools to improve their appeal. The government has also set up a program of swimming lessons in elementary schools. However, the nature of the swimming pools used (portable timber structures) does not yet make it possible to learn how to survive in water, which is why a bigger investment has recently been made in concrete pools. In addition to the absence of safety systems in public pools, Vietnam is confronted with climatic changes which impact water quality – a major challenge for the swimming pool sector.”

Van Giang DAO — Deputy Director of Poolstore

5 good reasons to dive in the Asian swimming pool market

This list is far from complete but nevertheless reveals the many differences within the same market. There are a host of opportunities – and as many problems to resolve. Interesting challenges for the swimming pool sector!


© Photo credit: motortion / stock.adobe.com

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