Online bookings making a splash at Waterworld

Online bookings at Waterworld aquatic centre birthday party

Online bookings making a splash at Waterworld

Giving customers the power to book online is helping Waterworld Aquatic Centre in Adelaide expand its swim school and grow the number of birthday parties it hosts.

The seasonal outdoor swimming centre is visited by around 170,000 people a year and has a 50-year history as a family-friendly destination for locals and visitors alike.

Operated by the City of Tea Tree Gully, it offers a lap pool, program pool and toddlers pool, along with an interactive splash pad and three large waterslides. It also has an on-site café and expansive grounds with plenty of tree cover and free barbeque facilities.

Waterworld Aquatic Centre facility manager Nigel Dennis said his team had seen impressive results since the aquatic centre began offering online bookings and the ability for parents to enrol their children into learn to swim classes at their own convenience.

The new functionality was provided using the Centaman software platform used by the council to manage all of its leisure facilities.

“We had a staff-oriented approach previously that required us to be open for people to book. We took a look at airlines and movies – you can book online and do it right away. Adding online bookings made sense; if people have to wait until a place is open to make a booking, they often forget about it.”

Since offering online bookings the number of birthday parties at Waterworld had grown by 25 per cent, Mr Dennis said. That increase was partly due to people being able to make bookings ahead of time, even in the off-season when staff were not working.

Waterworld aquatic centre customers

“One of the beauties of the system is that you can build it to match what you offer at your facility. Customers can then go in and choose from all the options and see pricing and other information about each party when making their decision.”

Waterworld’s swim school saw more than 600 enrolments per term in its learn to swim program, and that number was continuing to increase, Mr Dennis said. Adding the Centaman e-Enrol swim school management module had reduced queuing for parents at the front counter and freed up hours of administration time for learn to swim staff.

“From a staffing perspective on a busy summer day, it’s a long process to talk to everyone who wants to book their child in. If parents book their own children in online, it saves administration time and allows them to make bookings even when the pool isn’t open.”

Mr Dennis says Waterworld provides information online to guide parents when they are booking learn to swim lessons for their children. The guidance includes details about the classes available, appropriate ages for each, and base skill requirements.

He said the process worked well, and if any parents inadvertently book their children into lessons that are too easy, or too advanced, then the Centaman e-Enrol module made it simple for staff to shift them into a different class.

Waterworld opened for the 2019-2020 season on Sunday 29 September. It remains open throughout the warmer months, closing again on 9 April.