This month, continuing our journey to water parks around the world, we meet Lionel Caro, the person responsible for the management of AkOatys waterpark, on the wonderful island of Reunion, who shares details about the park and its management.
“The park started as the aquatic leisure area of a small resort hotel and only had 3 slides and some basic amenities. After 12 years and 4.5 million Euros in investments, the park has an area of 3 hectares and an assortment of attractions for all kind of visitors.
The park opens from October through March, as do many parks in the Southern Hemisphere. With a capacity for 1,200 people, our guests are mainly locals, as Reunion is not as touristic as it seems, despite its potential to be (UNESCO sites, an active volcano, etc.). So the days when we fill the park are during holidays and weekends.
We distribute the space in almost equal parts, between the leisure area and the attractions area, which our customers like as there is no crowding. In regards to the attractions we have, I would highlight the Waveslide, which is popular and the Wave Surf, which differentiates us from other public pools. Inside the park, visitors also have restaurants, surfing courses, merchandising and locker and cabaña hire. This is a significant part of the park’s revenue.
We allocate an important part of the annual budget to marketing. For example, for the second time we’re undertaking a campaign in which free entry passes can be won, and we have around 20,000. This allows us to increase the park’s first-time visitor flow.
On the other hand, the park’s good image is very important for us. Before opening, we pay special attention to the gardens, paintwork and the attractions’ structures and to the state of the attractions’ machinery. Overall, we greatly value that our personnel are highly trained to guarantee visitor safety and for this we undertake specific training before the park opens.
Looking to the future, we believe parks should work more on sustainability; less water consumption, less chemicals, less electricity…And on our part, we continue to improve and with our hopes focused on becoming a theme park.