Swimming with the tide of sustainability

GUEST OPINION: Damien Latham, Chair, WWA Board of Directors

Ten years ago, the World Waterpark Association (WWA) Board of Directors launched an initiative supporting the water leisure industry’s desire to teach children and their parents the importance of learning to swim and providing undistracted parental supervision. The result was the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, an annual event that, to date, has reached more than 300,000 participants in more than 50 countries and generated more than a billion media impressions.


One reason this initiative has seen such amazing support is that drowning prevention advocacy is deeply ingrained in the minds and hearts of water park owners and operators — safety, after all, is the driving force behind everything we do in our parks. 

Just as we strive to be good stewards for the safety of our guests, our industry has been working toward better stewardship of our environmental resources. Over the past decade, new and existing water parks have introduced a variety of operational best practices that conserve electricity, reduce water consumption, and minimize waste and pollutants. Companies such as Great Wolf Resorts, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Center Parcs, among many others, have been leading the way in these and other conservation efforts.

Just as these brands have set goals to reduce waste, conserve natural resources and shrink their carbon footprint, the WWA Board of Directors is making sustainability an even higher priority for the coming years. 

We are motivated by the fact that our guests care deeply about the impact our businesses have on the environment. Over the past few years, the concept of eco-friendly tourism has gained momentum, especially with younger generations who have seen changes in climate lead to more weather-related catastrophes. 

We need to continue working toward more environmental best practices that all water parks can implement. Whether it’s placing solar panels in parking lots or working with vendor partners to eliminate single-use plastics, we can and should make a meaningful impact on our planet’s health.

We invite you to join us in these efforts. Your park guests will thank you for it.