ZEEs Have Potential to Boost Country's DevelopmentWed, 11/01/2017 - 13:24
Mexico’s tourism sector is booming and the number of visitors from North America is growing every year. But many of these visitors prefer to swim in swimming pools, rather than in the sea, according to Jean Pierre Juanchich, Country Manager Mexico of Crystal Lagoons. This is just one of the reasons why the company saw such potential for its product in Mexico.
“We use our technology and artificial lagoons as an amenity that has the power to transform the value of an unwanted property,” he says. “Our crystal lagoons allow hotels in the area to meet these demands in a low cost, sustainable way.” The company’s technology requires the lagoons are filled only once because they are highly water-retentive, even in hot areas. The lagoons use 30 times less water than a golf course and 50 percent less water than a green space. In this way, it can be far more economical for hotels to install a lagoon than a swimming pool.
Crystal Lagoons was founded in 2008 as a solution to a property in Chile that was close to the sea, but bad weather conditions and rough waters made it dangerous to swim in. The company’s, Fernando Fischmann, decided to bring the feeling of idyllic beach life to Chile by building an artificial lagoon to the property. But as the lagoon quickly became dirty and full of bacteria in less than a week, he decided to develop new technology. Now, the lagoon is crystal clear, has increased housing demand in the area and won a Guinness World Record for “World’s Largest Crystalline Lagoon.” In Mexico, it is not just the typical beach resorts that Juanchich sees potential in. Growth in the Bajio region has also attracted the company’s attention. “Queretaro has a strong market and we are working in the area with a project that is expected to become one of the most emblematic in the country,” he says. “It is still under approval but it will involve everything from hotels and offices to a commercial center.”
When it comes to sectors, Crystal Lagoons does not prioritize a specific one. Rather, it always strives to identify areas where it can improve the quality of life, says Juanchich. Crystal Lagoons covers every segment from luxury developments to middle and low-income housing. It is also involved in primary and secondary housing projects and hotels. The company is currently collaborating with a hotel development that consists of 1,800 rooms. It also has a project in Cabo San Lucas that has one of the best golf courses in the world. “We greatly augmented the value of the location with our technology because it is not close to the beach,” Juanchich explains. “It also transformed a male dominated activity – golf – into a family activity by offering a safe place where the entire family can have fun and enjoy recreational sports.” This is essentially Crystal Lagoons’ mandate: to collaborate with developers and construction companies to increase the value of their projects with its technology. “Strategic alliances are important to us and we will continue to increase our presence in the market through these relationships,” says Juanchich. The company recently signed a contract to install a lagoon in the Wynn Las Vegas hotel, making it the first hotel to establish a beach in the area. It is one of the ways Crystal Lagoons is innovating and generating increased demand for its product.
Juanchich believes in creating a world full of water where everyone can enjoy the resource in a sustainable manner. And even with Mexico’s water shortage issues, Crystal Lagoons is able to innovate to provide sustainable products. “When it comes to our source of water, we analyze the location to identify the nearest and most sustainable option,” Juanchich explains. “We recently finished a project in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, which is essentially a desert location. We managed to install a 12.5Ha lagoon that is being used as a reverse osmosis plant for the surrounding community. It significantly improved the quality of life for its residents.”
And Crystal Lagoons is not only relevant to the tourism sector, it can also offer industrial solutions. Mining companies use its water-cooling technology to reduce their consumption and minimize contamination. Previously, they would collect cool water from the ocean and return it at a warmer temperature, causing contamination. They can install a lagoon to collect cool water and use its technology to return water at the same temperature. “It is an inexpensive way to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact,” he says.