Sponsored by:

Lincoln Aquatics - A Winning Team
Industry Statistics - September 2018
Find a printable version here

Aquatics Industry Report

Aquatic Programming Trends

By Emily Tipping


You can build a swimming pool for your guests, and it will surely be used for fun and recreation, and maybe even exercise, but the vast majority of respondents to our survey report that they do a little something more to get people into the pool by providing a variety of programs.

In fact, 93.9 percent of all aquatic respondents said that they currently provide programming of one kind or another at their facilities. They are led by those from Ys and from schools and school districts, where 100 percent of respondents said they currently offer programs. They were followed by colleges and universities (98.8 percent), community sports and recreation centers (96.7 percent), and parks and recreation respondents (94.2 percent). Respondents from camps were the least likely to indicate that they currently provide aquatic programming, though more than three-quarters (79.2 percent) do so. (See Figure 1.)


Respondents from facilities with higher operating costs were more likely to report that they currently provide aquatic programming than those who spend less on their aquatics. Some 97.8 percent of respondents with operating costs of $500,000 or more, and 97.8 percent of those with operating costs of $250,000 to $499,999 said they currently provide aquatic programs. This compares with 91.4 percent of those whose operating costs are less than $250,000. And, among those who spend less than $100,000 a year on their aquatic operations, 86.2 percent said they currently provide aquatic programs.

Current Program Offerings

The No. 1 program currently offered by aquatic respondents was learn-to-swim programs, provided by 79 percent of respondents. More than two-thirds of aquatic respondents also said they provide: leisure swim time (76.3 percent); lifeguard training (72.5 percent); and lap swim times (69.8 percent). More than half also provide: aquatic aerobics (62.8 percent); birthday parties (59.7 percent); water safety training (58.3 percent); and youth swim teams (55.5 percent).

Among park respondents, the top current program offerings include: learn-to-swim programs (87.5 percent); leisure swim (79.4 percent); lifeguard training (77.4 percent); birthday parties (73.8 percent); and lap swim time (73.6 percent).

Among respondents from colleges and universities, the top current program offerings include: lap swim time (83.6 percent); leisure swim (76.4 percent); lifeguard training (76.4 percent); learn-to-swim programs (75.8 percent); and aquatic aerobics (57.6 percent).

For school respondents, the most common currently offered programs include: school swim teams (85.2 percent); swim meets and competitions (74.2 percent); learn-to-swim programs (73.8 percent); youth swim teams (73.8 percent); and lifeguard training (70.5 percent).

Respondents from Ys said that their top current programs include: learn-to-swim programs (96.7 percent); leisure swim (94.6 percent); lifeguard training (92.4 percent); lap swim time (91.3 percent); and aquatic aerobics (90.2 percent).

Among respondents from camp facilities, the top current program offerings include: leisure swim (65.3 percent); lifeguard training (48.6 percent); learn-to-swim programs (31.9 percent); water safety (29.2 percent); and birthday parties (23.6 percent).

For respondents from community sports and recreation centers, the most common currently offered programs include: learn-to-swim programs (91.8 percent); leisure swim (80.3 percent); aquatic aerobics (77 percent); lifeguard training (77 percent); and lap swim times (75.4 percent).

Zeager - Bonded WoodCarpet(R) Systems  - Safe & Beautiful - Accessible & Natural
SuitMate - 95% less water in 8 seconds
Belson Outdoors - Your Outdoor Superstore
National Recreation Systems - Trusted Manufacturer of Quality Aluminum Bleachers, Benches and Picnic tables for over 25 years
S.R. Smith - Scan in style - Sentry Guard Chairs - Learn More
Commercial Recreation Specialists - Your Waterfront Reinvented
Pilot Rock - Summer Planning Starts Now. - Learn More
Vantage - Tablet Feeders for Any Size Pool