The Countdown Is On: Creating Success for Hotels for FIFA and Beyond

Three million visitors, one hundred new hotels, one historic mega-event—yes, you guessed it: we’re talking about the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

But with so many hotels being constructed for the biggest sporting tournament ever held in the Middle East, how can properties stand out? And how would they sustain profitability after the final whistle is blown and the trophy is done parading around the pitch? The answer is aquatic amenities.

Differentiate with Amenities

Today, traveling is easier than it has ever been, which means hotels must find fresh ideas to not only attract new customers but win return guests. One way to do this is by offering extra benefits to elevate the guest experience. Whether a free breakfast buffet, an equipment-packed gym, or a luxurious pool, amenities are often cited by guests to be one of the main booking factors along with a property’s location and ratings. Aquatic amenities take this concept up a notch by providing guests the option to relax, or explore heart-racing thrills, and make memories together as a family.

Here is how aquatic amenities can appeal to three key demographics: the adult getaway, the families, and the locals.

Attracting the Adult Getaway

For the adults escaping their daily stress, aquatic amenities on-site can offer them either adrenaline-pumping thrills or a space to unwind, or both.

For example, the AquaLoop takes guests on a gravity-defying 360-degree ride. Starting with AquaDrop, individual guests step into an enclosed see-through capsule, listen to a short countdown, before the floor opens underneath their feet, plummeting them into a high-speed adventure. An exciting slide like this creates experiences that guests will not soon forget—and helps a property set itself apart from the competition.

For guests seeking to slow down and rest, wave pools and lazy rivers are ideal. From the hotel’s perspective, these amenities offer high capacity and maximum relaxation. Creating the peaceful lull of water crashing onshore, wave pools are easy to build and maintain, surrounded by perfect lounging areas for guests looking for a more laid-back vacation. Guests resting at the pool_WhiteWater West

Appealing to the Family

Families visiting Qatar will be awake early and looking for something to do ahead of the evening FIFA matches. A multi-level play structure, such as AquaPlay or AquaForms, would give families with children a convenient reason to stay. These interactive water play amenities create hubs of fun where families look forward to spending the day together. Parents can join their young ones exploring the structure or sit and relax with a clear view of the kids. Both AquaPlay and AquaForms can be scaled up or down to fit a hotel’s available footprint.

For those with kids a bit older, hotels can also offer great fun with family slides. Sitting in a raft for groups of three to six, guests can experience the excitement together as they watch each other’s faces laughing and screaming throughout the ride. With thrilling family attractions like Tailspin that combines the high-banking rotations of a bowl with the rapid descent of a flume, or Bubba Tub with its high speed for extreme Gs and zero gravity sensations, there are so many options for guests to enjoy memorable moments with one another. Family raft tail spin WhiteWater West water slides

Driving Repeat Visitation with Locals

Having aquatic amenities on site will continue to create benefits for properties after the World Cup fever is over. With water slides, wave pools, or surf simulators, hotels can offer season passes to bring in day guests as well as increase their occupancy rates with locals looking for a staycation. Guests can even be rewarded for using the aquatic facilities. For example, with Vantage, a venue management system with smart wearable technology and behavioural analytics, hotels can implement loyalty programs to give guests a chance to win prizes based on how many water slides they ride and other actions. As more families turn to budget-friendly staycations, having amenities such as a water park will become an important factor in the decision-making process.

FlowRider® can also help to differentiate properties and appeal to locals by providing a skill-based surfing attraction. Captivating the tricky teen market who loves the SoCal lifestyle, FlowRider® will challenge visitors to come back, again and again, to improve their skills as they work towards standing up on the flowboard. These stationary surf machines will help drive repeat visitation and turn the venue into a space for events and competitions, generating ancillary revenue. FlowRider Double - Surf Simulator Machine

Ready to Grow Your Amenities?

The concept of using amenities as a differentiating factor for hotels is not new, but aquatic amenities take this idea one step further by helping proprieties raise their ADR and occupancy rates.

To find out if adding aquatic amenities is right for your property, we have compiled a checklist of some preliminary questions you should ask. Send us an email at to get a copy and see if adding aquatic amenities might be the right fit for your property.

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Cassidy Newman