February 2, 2023

Chicby Karina

Think exceptional travel

Aquatic Attractions to Change Hospitality Landscape in Saudi Arabia – Hotel Magazine

According to the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabian hotels are expected to experience an increase of 67.1 percent in room supply over the next three years, the highest amongst the world’s top 50 countries by population. Moreover, as online booking platforms make it easier for travellers to compare and choose from a wide range of accommodation options, properties need innovative ideas to stand out from the crowd, attract customers and win return guests.

With a track record of helping properties raise revenues, Hotel & Leisure Advisors analysed the performance of seven hotels. Findings from this showed that after the addition of an indoor waterpark, the properties reported a 59 percent average increase in room revenue per available room (RevPAR).

As consumers seek accommodation with added value, most properties are resorting to introducing aquatic entertainment as a standard practice. And indeed, these water attractions instantly boost a hotel’s standing, giving guests the space and mood to relax and explore thrills, thus making memories together as a family.

Mike Rigby, General Manager and Regional Vice President of WhiteWater, Middle East and India

“The Westin, Waldorf, and Le Meridien have all discovered that aquatics help hotels boost their RevPAR rates and their ancillary revenue,” said Mike Rigby, General Manager and Regional Vice President of WhiteWater in the Middle East and India, the world’s leading manufacturer and designer of aquatic equipment.

“This trend has become evident in resorts. Properties must look at ways to increase non-room revenue by providing a range of amenities that enhance the guest experience. By integrating indoor or outdoor waterpark attractions into their amenity allocation, hotels can generate a huge return on investment and drive their occupancy rates with both domestic and international guests.” 

The Westin Mina Seyahi and Le Méridien Mina Seyahi hotels in Dubai testify to this strategy’s success.

The popular destinations in Dubai – located centrally and close to Sky Dive Dubai – were looking to transform one of their existing pools into a splash pad to cater to young families in early 2021. After a meeting with WhiteWater representatives, the properties chose to go big. Rather than just a splash pad, they introduced an entire waterpark to each hotel. Inspired by the picturesque aesthetic of Greek islands, the resulting waterparks showcase hues of blues and whites, offering the perfect Instagram-worthy photo opportunity where families can take photos and tag the property, resulting in free marketing.

“The Westin Mina Seyahi and Le Méridien Mina Seyahi recognised the potential that aquatics can hold for their property and decided to double down on their investment to help fill their rooms every night of the year,” Rigby said. “Not only has it helped to drive their revenue, but the positive guest reviews can also be seen on TripAdvisor, with many of the guests citing the waterpark as a major differentiator in their stay.”

Recent global research also indicates that hotels and resorts that invest in aquatic entertainment perform at a higher level than their counterparts that don’t.

Hotel & Leisure Advisors’ research, conducted in partnership with WhiteWater, analysed data on the performance of various market segments of hotels against benchmarks. The study revealed that hotels with aquatic equipment generated 119.9 percent more ADR than those without, creating RevPAR nearly $100 higher. The report revealed that the addition of amenities helps hotels attract more family guests during the weekends and holidays, which allows the hotel to charge a higher room rate than competitors. A prime example is the Jungle Bay Waterpark in Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Water Park, which garnered 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor based on over 3,500 reviews.