This study covers the global market for pool and spa water treatment equipment and chemicals by product type and major region and national market (see Country Lists by Region in the Appendix for details). Historical demand is presented in US dollar terms for 2008, 2013, and 2018, and forecasts are made for 2023. The study also provides historical demand and forecast data in unit terms for the global number of pools and spas in use (excluding inground units) and annual new pool and spa sales, which are segmented by type, region, and national market.
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For the purposes of this study, pools are defined as any manufactured prefabricated or modular indoor or outdoor unit intended for swimming, including:
Excluded from the scope of pools are inground units that are not prefabricated at the point of manufacture and whose installation requires extensive construction and landscape design and excavation activities.
Spas constitute any manufactured prefabricated or modular indoor or outdoor unit – often featuring pulsating jets – intended for soaking, therapy, relaxation, and, increasingly, swimming laps in place. Examples include:
jetted lap (i.e., swim-in-place) spas
Excluded from the scope of spas are inground units that are not prefabricated at the point of manufacture, as well as whirlpool/jetted bathtubs and other sanitaryware products intended for lavatories.
Pool and spa water treatment products are segmented by:
conventional filtration equipment (primarily cartridge filters, sand filters, and diatomaceous earth)
disinfection equipment (e.g., chlorinators, salt chlorine generators, ultraviolet systems, ozone systems, chemical dosing systems, reverse osmosis systems
other equipment, which includes cleaning equipment, such as cleaners, skimmers, and vacuums; countercurrent equipment used in swim-in-place pools and spas (e.g., ACIS’
Jet Vag and SPECK Pumpen’s BADU products); water quality and color testing equipment (e.g., Tintometer’s Lovibond line); metering, dosing, and other types of pumps and valves (e.g., flowmeters); heat pumps (e.g., HornerXpress’ AquaCal with ThermoLink titanium heat exchanger); less commonly used equipment, such as membranes and deionization (i.e., pH-adjusting) equipment; other water treatment accessories, such as fittings and hosing chemicals:
biocides (e.g., bromine, carbon, chlorine)
pH adjusters (e.g., sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, muriatic acid, sodium bisulfate)
other chemicals, such as odor controllers and clarifiers
The study also analyzes key marketing, distribution, and production trends of major global industry participants, including recent acquisitions and divestitures, as well as the impact of rising consumer, environmental, and regulatory trends on market activities.
Global Markets for Pools & Spas & Related Water Treatment Equipment & Chemicals to Grow at Healthy Pace Through 2023
Global pool and spa sales are forecast to rise 3.5% per year to 4.9 million in 2023, bringing the total number of pools and spas in use to 136 million units. Gains will be driven by:
rising incomes in developing markets, such as China
expanding tourism worldwide leading to new hotel and resort construction
product innovation – e.g., easy-to-install miniature pools and swim-in-place lap spas – making installation and long-term maintenance more affordable
Gains in the global pool and spa installed base will drive opportunities for water treatment manufacturers, as virtually all new installations – particularly in commercial applications – entail high initial investments in equipment (e.g., filtration equipment and media) and recurring demand for chemicals, such as biocides. Sales of pool and spa water treatment equipment and chemicals are forecast to rise 3.6% per year to $12.1 billion, supported by:
rising incomes and water treatment standards worldwide
increased use of pools and spas resulting from longer outdoor living seasons due to climate change
product innovation increasing sales values in mature markets, such as the US
Key Findings in the
Global Pools & Spas Study:
US: New Sales Renormalize; Treatment Gains from High-Value Products & Intensive Use
The US’ economic recovery in the 2013-2018 period entailed strong gains in the installed base of pools and spas – the third largest in the world behind Asia/Pacific and Europe – as demand pent up during the recession was released. Through 2023, growth in the number of pools and spas in use in the US will decelerate as new sales renormalize.
Meanwhile, demand for pool and spa water treatment products is expected to accelerate as innovation drives sales of higher-value equipment that is perceived to be more convenient and sustainable. Furthermore, trends related to climate change (i.e., increasing frequency of heat waves) and outdoor living in the US promote more intensive pool and spa use that corresponds with higher chemical and equipment usage and replacement purchase rates.
Asia/Pacific, Led by China, Will Remain Largest Pool & Spa Market in 2023
In 2023, the Asia/Pacific region will account for 45% of global pools and spas in use due to its large population size, rising incomes, and robust tourism and hospitality sectors. China will sustain the region’s leading global market position, with rising tourism in developing countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam aiding gains. China’s pool and spa water treatment market is based on volume as the country’s lax water quality standards result in less intensive use of equipment and chemicals. However, as China’s installed base continues to expand – particularly as the effect of the two-child policy instated in 2016 begins to take shape – sales of pool and spa water treatment products will also rise.
Innovation Driving Sales of High-Value Water Treatment Equipment at Expense of Chemicals
Equipment comprises nearly 70% of global pool and spa water treatment sales given the much higher upfront cost of these products compared to chemicals and the need of pool and spa owners to continually replace equipment to improve facility efficiencies. Also, in mature markets, rising use of innovative, high-value equipment – such as ozone and ultraviolet disinfection systems – and smart products that reduce need for biocides will cause chemicals’ share of the global market to fall slightly through the forecast.
This Freedonia industry study analyzes the global markets for:
new pool and spa sales and total pool and spa units in use, which totaled 4.1 million units and 119 million, respectively, in 2018
pool and spa water treatment chemicals and equipment, which totaled $10.1 billion in 2018
The study presents historical pool and spa demand data in unit terms for 2008, 2013, and 2018, and forecasts for 2023 by product type (pools and spas); region (North America, Europe, Central & South America, Asia/Pacific, and Africa/Mideast); and major national market. Historical pool and spa water treatment demand data is presented in value terms for 2008, 2013, and 2018 and forecasts are provided for 2023 by region and product type (conventional filtration equipment, disinfection equipment, and other equipment; and biocides, pH adjusters, and other chemicals). Regional sections analyzing key market trends and pool and spa demand data also feature Country Spotlights of major national or subregional markets in key regions. Comprehensive analyses of competitive strategies, mergers and acquisitions, marketing and distribution trends, and other supply-side activities of select leading global industry participants are also provided.