A Deep-Dive Into Data

In ordinary years, the data we collect in our Industry Report and Aquatic Trends surveys can seem almost mundane. It may shine a light on the types of equipment and programming that are becoming more (or less) popular. It might highlight ongoing concerns (equipment maintenance, or the staffing issues that were common even before the pandemic crunch), or show just how quickly operating costs are increasing. But for the most part, the changes are incremental, rather than dramatic.

In extraordinary years, the data transforms from eyes-half-closed to eyes-wide-open. Last year's Aquatic Trends Report was certainly eye-opening, sketching an initial picture of how the pandemic was affecting aquatic facilities of all kinds.

This year's report may not feature the extraordinary departures from the norms that 2020 represented, but, in addition to all the usual information we see in an ordinary year, it highlights ongoing challenges that are a direct result of the ongoing pandemic. Where 2020 was unique for the large number of aquatic facilities that simply remained closed (more than one in five), 2021's extraordinariness is highlighted by data that shows the continuing pandemic fallout. For example, far more facilities were open for business, but most of them saw staffing as a huge challenge.

We're still living with the pandemic, and it is still having a dramatic impact on business, with staffing shortages, budget shortfalls, supply chain concerns and more creating difficulty for aquatic managers.

That's the broad-brush picture you get from this, our fourth annual Aquatic Trends Report. Want to find out more about these trends, as well as the more usual information on equipment, programs and more? Turn the page and keep reading.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]