The European Union of Swimming Pool and Spa Associations (EUSA) President Bert Granderath evaluated the European and Turkish swimming pool industry in an exclusive interview with the Havuz&Sauna Dergisi. Granderath stated that the high status of tourism in Turkey also contributed to the strengthening of the market.
Could you tell us about the European Association of Swimming Pool and Spa Associations and their activities?
Swimming pool and wellness associations from twelve different European countries have come together in EUSA. In addition to Turkey, there are also: England, France, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Italy and Sweden. It is primarily about building and expanding an international network that also benefits the members of the individual associations. In addition, the EUSA is involved in European standardization work, strengthens public relations work in the industry and, together with a monitoring partner in Brussels, ensures that all associations are always up to date with the latest EU directives and political projects. One of the highlights of EUSA’s work is the EUSA Award, which is presented every year – usually at an international trade fair.
What is the importance of associations in developing and disciplining the Pool and Spa sector and increasing its effectiveness in national and international markets?
Associations are characterized by teamwork. And we have seen in the past that you can achieve a lot more if you work together. As examples, I would like to mention the work on European standards for privately used swimming pools, the changes to the EU biocide regulation, in particular for the in-situ production of disinfectants, and efforts to increase the energy efficiency of swimming pool pumps. Associations can therefore help to design framework conditions in such a way that they promote the market. In addition, associations help with their public relations work that relevant topics are brought into the focus of the public. They also bring business partners together with their networks and dialogue platforms.
Can you tell us about your international market development strategies as a union? What is the position of Turkey in this strategy?
With our activities, we focus primarily on promoting companies in Europe, strengthening the market for privately used swimming pools, and we stand for fair cooperation. Despite all the country-specific differences, it is important to us that “swimming pool Europe” meets on an equal level and that smaller and larger, economically stronger and weaker countries deal with each other on an equal level. All EUSA members see great value in the regular exchange on market conditions and challenges, new trends and regulations. We all really appreciate the fact that we can learn from each other. That is the position of all EUSA countries, including Turkey.
How do you evaluate the Turkish pool industry? What is the place of Turkey in the changing global trends over time?
The Turkish pool industry is impressive. This is shown, among other things, by the many pool and spa facilities taking part in the EUSA Award. The high status of tourism in Turkey has certainly also contributed to strengthening the market. But the private sector has also grown. This is not only currently due to the corona pandemic, which has forced many people to stay at home and stop traveling, so that the demand for a holiday paradise at home has increased. In Turkey, as in other European countries, people benefit from increased health awareness, from the “homing” trend, which means that one’s own home is becoming a status symbol, and from a pool as a safe investment. Even if tourism has suffered in the last two years, we see great potential in the area of hotel swimming pools and spas. After all, Turkey is a popular travel destination and is particularly known for its luxurious resorts with hammam, sauna and swimming pool.
Selection, installation and repair of equipment in pools with high health and comfort conditions around the world; What would you like to say about the standards determined by the organizations that shape the sector on issues such as disinfection, compliance with the rules brought by these standards and the inspections of compliance with the standards?
The standards applicable in Europe for privately used swimming pools, EN 16582 and EN 16713, have largely brought together many rules that almost all swimming pool builders in Europe have already followed. Nevertheless, with these two sets of rules, there are now two standards with regard to safety and water quality, for which all countries involved in European standardization work have voted. Of course, compromises had to be found here too. But it shows that it was possible to agree on Europe-wide standards in the industry. This gives consumers transparency and strengthens confidence in the pole industry.
In your opinion, what are the most important problems in the pool industry and what is your solution proposal for these problems?
The biggest challenges at the moment are rising raw material prices, material shortages and delivery delays. There are also problems – depending on the country and region – in finding enough qualified specialists. The exchange of ideas between the partners practiced in the EUSA helps a lot here. For example, people have recently talked about various recruiting campaigns, political initiatives, government funding opportunities and association information for end customers in order to explain waiting times and delivery problems. See example from England.
The European Pool and Spa Awards, which are held every year, are followed with great enthusiasm in the sector. How does each new project come to you?
We are very happy that the EUSA AWARD generated such a positive response. Above all, it shows one thing: wonderful swimming pools are being built all over Europe. This competition can be described as a competition in which the best of the best are honored. As a rule, the national associations send the winners of their respective national swimming pool prizes or another pre-selection “into the race”. The submission to the EUSA is done by the national associations, which then register the images for the EUSA Award. The UHE swimming pool association does this in Turkey.
Have you ever swam in a swimming pool in Turkey? If you have had such an experience, can you share your thoughts with us?
I have already been to Turkey myself and of course I swam in a Turkish pool, which convinced me technically and aesthetically. Turkey also has an advantage with its beaches, the sea and the beautiful landscape: it can give pools a great setting and integrate them into the environment. Day and night. Imagine sitting by an illuminated pool in the evening and looking out to sea. There could hardly be a more beautiful setting for a swimming pool.
What do you want to say as last words?
I would like to thank you very much on behalf of EUSA for your interview. We are very pleased that we were able to present our association in your magazine. As a founding member of EUSA and Vice President of the German swimming pool association bsw, I know how much everyone can benefit from working together, cultivating your network and being open to new things. All EUSA members have a common goal: they want to strengthen the industry, have economic success, but also get to know people from other countries. The stands for “searching for business partners” and “finding friends”. With this in mind, I am looking forward to working with my friends from all over Europe for the swimming pool industry in the future.