Waterbom rises in Bali. Born in 1993, this family business has been conceived and created by an Italian-American installed on the island, Santo Gulino. Today managed by a “native son”, his son Sayan Gulino, Waterbom is part of the well known tourist attractions in Bali. At the heart of the water park, the challenge: meet the hippies and eco ideals that underpin the company’s foundations without denying economic requirements of a business to compete on an island become the new mass tourism destination lighthouse in Asia.
History Behind Establishment
“Once upon a time in Bali …” Once is not custom, our business portrait and especially the history of Sayan Gulino, general manager of Waterbom, could begin as well, like a children’s story. For if there is here today, is that at the end of the 70, Isabelle, a young French graduate of the School of Fine Arts on vacation in Bali, Santo met a young Italian-American , working in the reggae industry. “At the time we landed in Bali through word-of-mouth. Few people knew the island locate on a map. It was a tropical paradise for hippies. My parents, like other foreigners here, were looking for a place full of mysticism, and the island was known for its gods and spirits. “At the heart of Bali lost that fantasy today, where he had to go to the airport to make a phone call abroad, Isabelle and Santo fell in love, and you will understand that n ‘ was not only the island!
The following? In a small village near Ubud, Sayan, they conceived a child by the name of … Sayan. Originally Waterbom Bali is not, as one might think, the product of an international franchise established on the island, but the idea of Santo Gulino. “In the late 80s, the only tourism that existed in Bali was a tourism dedicated to surfers. There was nothing suitable for families. “In Europe, water parks are emerging, but for Santo, out of the question to build” one of his hideous stuff! “We had to build, yes, but in the middle of the jungle, in the respect of Balinese flora.
Today, “the jungle” Kuta has changed. The trees have given way to concrete and it is finally in Waterbom pregnant, spread over 3.8 hectares, found the remains of vegetation. Besides, on the website of the park, noted that green spaces make up 68% of the place. In 2007, after studying economics and tourism management and worked as a consultant for Waterbom Jakarta (since sold), Sayan decided to return to Bali and devote himself to the family business. Ado, there was maintenance man or lifeguard. A few years later, he went through all levels, accounting, human resources and marketing before becoming general manager of the company. Today Sayan manages about 170 employees, all Indonesians. In everyday life, in addition to staff dedicated to communication, marketing, innovation, employees are evenly distributed between the management and maintenance of 22 slides (including 6 slides for children), 5 swimming pools, kitchen, 3 restaurants and spa that includes the park.
“The idea of Waterbom, this is not just to offer a trip to the pool to children, but to spend a real day of relaxation for the whole family. We do not sell you a good time, but an atmosphere, an experience. “Does it work? We will not know really. Sayan Gulino does not want to reveal the number of annual visitors. What is known is that Waterbom customers are primarily Australian, local, followed by Koreans, Japanese and finally the Europeans. Today he says that more than media promotion is word-of-mouth which sell tickets to Waterbom. Moreover, the company show that love the water park got number 1 in Asia and No. 5 in the world in 2014 Tripadvisor ranking.
What will it be in a few years? Bali is now one of the Asian centers of mass tourism, competition is gradually expanded, including one thinks newest water parks, “Splash” in Canggu. To satisfy and retain clients, Sayan on innovation. “Every two years, it innovates, improves, rethinking. Waterbom is a canvas on which one stops working. “Last spring, the water park inaugurated the end of its first phase of renovation, with four new slides whose” Constrictor “along 250 meters. This June, the park is expected to complete the second phase of renovation with the opening of a new restaurant and 5 new slides. Among them, Sayan plans to build the tallest in the park, with 25.9 meters high. More than recreation, Waterbom seems now focus on thrills. “Once arrived at the top, you will fall directly to peak and reach the finish in seconds! “Already today, the centrifugal effect to 2.5 g during a visit in one of the pipes of the park.
Go farther, faster, higher … A motto that is not necessarily simple to implement in Bali. Although Sayan has his mastery of the Indonesian language and knowledge of Balinese culture, the manager has to deal with cultural differences that oppose the demands of the businessman it is its employees. For ten years, the island is experiencing a significant economic and tourism boom, but the Balinese society, it remains based on the principle of castes. Social mobility as understood in the West do not exist here. Which can complicate the task of Sayan when it comes to motivating staff. “I am faced with this ideal of life consisting earn enough money to support themselves and finance the ceremonies, period. Sometimes, to understand the challenges of our policies, so you really bet on patience. ”
Bali, its land, its culture, are fundamental parts of the identity of Waterbom, and Sayan, who grew up on the island, believes in karma and harmony, the principle of “giving and receiving. “If he says give pleasure to people is their first motto, he adds that this is the least we can do against the gift of the environment. “We can not forget that we owe everything to our land. Except if you like spending your life in malls, the environment is important to you, and must be preserved, because everybody loves beautiful beaches, beautiful rice … Protected landscapes. “But then, how to lead climb out of Waterbom, a company that is all about the water, while respecting the environment, on an island threatened by the draining of its groundwater and freshwater shortage imminent? “The water carried by people leaving the pools and showers is the only water wasted here. “To avoid the maximum loss, Waterbom system is designed so that it is kept in a closed circuit powered by a pump in the park. In the basement, it is filtered and chlorinated before making another lap of the circuit, and so on: “A water in which fish could survive almost …”
During our visit, Sayan tells us that the ancient park materials are reused for the construction of other parties. Accredited by an award of money issued by the ecolabel EarthCheck Waterbom must respect an annual sustainable development policy, water consumption, paper and energy, waste management, pesticide use, products maintenance and hygiene and engagement with local communities. What a program that one day, perhaps, the island of the gods irrigate a green tourist ideal?