We’re beginning the year by interviewing María del Mar Asesio, Director of the Aquamijas, Aquavera and Aquabadajoz waterparks in Spain, who will tell us about her day-to-day experiences and who will present some novelties for the summer of 2018:
“We started our activity in this sector in 1986, with the opening of Aquamijas. Its great reception and success allowed us to grow and it led us to plan the openings of Vera and Badajoz. Between them, the three parks have more than 180,000m2 and the capacity to welcome almost 10,000 visitors. Back then we really didn’t imagine how far we would come, bearing in mind it wasn’t our main business.
From the beginning, we were always clear about what we wanted to convey to our visitors above all, service, quality and safety. A working philosophy in which all the parks’ teams are involved. We know how important it is for parents to feel worry-free when their kids are in a facility of this kind and it’s our job to make sure this happens. This is why we make an effort to go above and beyond the safety standards required by law, and provide a quality service in facilities and attractions. In fact, we have more lifeguards than are necessary to minimise situations of risk in the park.
As I mentioned earlier, quality is one of our main assets, which is why each year we dedicate a significant percentage of the budget to maintaining the facilities and attractions in the best conditions. We prioritise each of the needs according to importance and we try and address them all before the park reopens.
Having more than 20 years experience in park management and a professional team allows us to anticipate the needs of each campaign. Many people have been with the park for several years, so we have a staff with knowledge and resources who also work on training new generations. This guarantees us that all personnel are working in an aligned manner.
Our parks have attractions destined for all types of public and they have hospitality services of different kinds, hammock and locker hire, and furthermore, depending on the park, we can find attractions such as “the washing machine” in Mijas, or Karts in Badajoz. This year we also have novelties in two of the parks. In Vera, in May we’re inaugurating the V slide, which we will call “tsunami”, and in Mijas, opening at the end of April, we will have a new closed hydrotube.
The public is mostly made up of families of about 4 members, although there are significant numbers of groups of youngsters between 13-15 years. On the other hand, tourism is more or less relevant in our case, depending on the location. In Mijas and Vera we have a great influx of foreign tourists who take the chance to spend a day in the park. By contrast in Badajoz, there is a greater abundance of national tourists. Therefore, we are at our highest levels of occupation during August.
We try to be present in all sales channels, diversifying our actions, collaborating with other tourist areas and above all we encourage communication on social media and in a personalised manner with direct actions in the countries of our visitors.
There are an increasing number of leisure possibilities and water is a highly appealing element, so the waterpark sector is attractive, but it has its limits. The public is what it is, and if we advocate over-exploiting spaces with the same services, it will become saturated. Therefore, all of us who participate in the sector should have a clear mission, to improve the installations that we have.”