Interview with the manager of the Aquashow water park in Portugal

We’re already used to collaborating each month with one of the most representative water parks in the sector. After a very active and successful summer, on this occasion we’re returning in the company of Celestino Santos, manager of the Aquashow water park, one of the best parks in Europe, located in southern Portugal.

“It’s been several years since we started managing Aquashow. We acquired it around 1999 and its size at that time was 12 hectares, although they were not all intended for the park. There were 6 hectares of land that were for residential use, so we changed their license so we could annex them to the park and gain space that gave us more possibilities for improvement.

That extension allows us to have a capacity of 13,000 people, a figure to be taken into account when managing the park, especially in the months of July and August, when we have had to hang the full sign during several days.

Because of our location, the majority of Aquashow’s visitors come from Spain and Portugal. However, tourists from the United Kingdom account for 25% of the tickets, an important figure. Also, more and more we’re noticing the arrival of French tourists. This is due in part to our actions on TV, RRSS and advertising campaigns, as well as our collaboration with different associations and entities.

The park is considered as a benchmark in Europe and in part it’s thanks to the fact we always invest in innovation and have new attractions every year. It is important to offer something that does not yet exist in the region. On the other hand, diversity and satisfying the preferences of all kinds of clients is equally essential. The big goal is for all the family to have fun and take away good memories, with safety at the forefront.

Aquashow’s main attractions are: the Roller Coaster, the Freefall, the Twinspace, the Shuttle, the White Fall and the Wave Pool. This year, as a novelty, we presented the Tropical Pool with waterfalls, consisting of a 6-lane slide to ride down with a body mat and with a capacity for 720 people per hour. For the less adventurous, we also opened a new 900 m² pool with an outdoor Jacuzzi and a capacity for 60 people.

Furthermore, inside the park, we have bars with a variety of food, and a store where guests can buy souvenirs, or even something that they may have forgotten on the day, such as sunscreen.

As I said earlier, safety is a must for us. Before the opening, we dedicate a large part of our time carrying out maintenance and safety control, as well as investing in training our employees (first-aid and water rescue courses). Tests are carried out on all the attractions, to ensure that everything is in perfect condition. Cleaning is another matter of extreme importance to us.

During vacations, people are increasingly seeking alternatives to visiting packed beaches and different activities to enjoy with their children or friends. Nobody misses the chance to spend a fun day out, even though they prefer attractions that involve less adrenaline (at Aquashow these attractions also exist, bearing these visitors in mind). The future of any park can be very promising, provided that it is committed to safety, innovation and maintaining its facilities. It should be a pleasant and fun space where visitors wish to return the following year.

Without doing anything different, since we took on the park’s management, Aquashow grows exponentially on all levels year after year, thanks to our constant investment. Our ambition is to maintain this pace, diversifying our offer more and more. In that sense, we are working on a very special novelty for 2019 that will even solve the issue of seasonality: we are going to inaugurate the FIRST INDOOR AQUATIC PARK of the Iberian Peninsula.

Regarding the media, we have a very close relationship. They know our complex well, visit it regularly and are always very receptive to our new attractions, regarding us as an important player in the region’s tourism offer. Above all, we work so that problems do not exist. This is our main policy.

Our goal from the beginning was to favour what clients were seeking and although we may have made some mistakes, we’ve always learnt from them and tried new methods. From now on, we wish to continue on this path of success.”