Less Outdoor Pools

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No image availableNL Times

Less visitors for less outdoor pools. The, mostly, private owners of these baths have not an  easy time. This can be concluded from figures of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

Fewer Dutch can cool down in the summer in an outdoor swimming pool. There are at this moment only 220 of such pools, against 330 in the late 1980s. The cause: municipalities must cut spending and have merged.

“Because municipalities have to cut the costs, these pools have less or no subsidy," explains a spokeswoman of the National Platform Pools (NPZ). “Because municipalities joined together, there were too many outdoor pools in each region. So a number of them closed,” adds a spokeswoman of RECRON, the Association of Recreation Entrepreneurs Netherlands.

Outdoor pools are expensive, since they have to run the annual turnover in only a few months time. Moreover, the number of visitors has decreased according to the CBS. Today 43,000 people pass annually through the turnstiles of an outdoor pool, while that number was 52,000 people in 2003.

On the other hand, the number of indoor pools in the Netherlands has increased in the past 25 years. There are now about 340 indoor pools, against 280 at the end of the 80s. In a study of RECRON from 2012, it is a fact that 12 percent of all pools are  threatened with closure.

Most pools were built in the 70s. In recent years, there are hardly any new pools built. "Between now and 2030 there are certainly new pools needed to replace old pools”, says the study.

The visit to pools in general, according RECRON, did not drop the last years. The difference is that, where other sports facilities welcome more visitors, the number of visitors to pools stays the same.