Interview with Zaurad Yumakaev, Director of the Planeta Waterpark in Ufa, Russia

This month we talked with the Director of the Planeta Waterpark, located in the city of Ufa, Russia.

The park has a year-through operation and forms part of the namesake leisure and shopping centre, the largest in the Republic of Bashkortostan.

“Our waterpark has an area of 5,400 m², a space that was determined by the shopping centre in which we are housed.

We have a varied offer of themed children’s slides and a group of classic slides such as a Hydrotube, a Black Hole, a Body Slide, a couple of Kamikazes, a FreeFall and the most popular attraction with our youngsters, the Space Bowl.

Despite the reduced space available, we have a wave pool and lazy river that runs throughout the whole park. In the summer season, we have an outdoor area with a children’s pool and café.

We also have a SPA area, with different Jacuzzis, saunas and massage services that complete the facilities we offer.

We make special efforts to achieve the highest safety standards. All our personnel have the corresponding certifications and they periodically undertake training courses. We have a laboratory at our disposal where our chemical professionals carry out continuous monitoring of the water and air quality and we have an external control agreement with the city’s Epidemiological Centre.

Furthermore, we provide all our youngest guests with inflatable armbands, free of charge.

Our main value in regards to other waterparks in Russia is theming. From the entrance hall to the outdoor terrace, our guests are submerged in a true Jurassic park, thanks to the themed figures and attractions. The ambience is accentuated with waterfalls, lagoon-shaped swimming pools and caves.

From month to month we carry out marketing campaigns to promote park visits and to try to avoid seasonality. These actions are undertaken directly, as well as through agreements with federal and local operators. Thanks to them, we have continual inflow of visitors, not just from the city of Ufa, but also nearby regions such as Perm, Oremburg Oblast, Chelyabinsk Oblast, the Republic of Tatarstan and Udmurtia.

Being integrated into a shopping mall has certain advantages: Visits to the shopping centre improve park attendance and helps with its promotion. On the other hand, the difference between the park’s and shopping centre’s micro-climates are a disadvantage as operating costs increase.

Although we don’t anticipate any significant refurbishments, as in our view the space has been optimally and comfortably designed, we are currently evaluating expanding our services and treatments in the SPA area.

If we had to plan the project from scratch again, we would follow the same path, although the wave pool (which is the attraction which most attracts guests) would probably be bigger and we would build a small swimming pool, where we could offer courses for future mums, something which is very fashionable in Russia, as well as children’s swimming lessons.

As a note, we are really happy to be a centre of attraction for national tourism in Ufa. According to statistics, only 50% of visitors are local. The rest come from other nearby cities and regions.”