1st Annual Dive Fest St. Lucia – A Success

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Dive Fest 2016
A Successful 1st Year
by Donovan Brown, President
St. Lucia Divers Association – Anbaglo

 

When the diving is good a week is not enough time to explore and discover all that is good about St. Lucia’s underwater treasures. Dive Fest 2016 was just the beginning.  St. Lucia’s first step in inviting groups and individuals to come and experience the Simply Beautiful under water world of the Helen of the west.

Dive Fest 2016 was a low key launch for what will become a wonderful week where divers will get a taste of what our island has to offer and also to see and experience some of our conservation efforts to protect and aid our marine friends.

anbaglo logoThe St. Lucia Divers Association teamed up with the St. Lucia Tourist Board, the Department of Tourism and the Hotel and Tourism Association to host this fantastic event for an entire week.

Between the opening event at the beautiful Rodney Bay Marina to the closing event at the fabulous Humming Bird Hotel located in the town of Soufriere with a spectacular view of the idyllic Pitons divers were treated to local food and a Lionfish feast at the closing event.

The Lionfish were caught on the eve of the closing ceremony as a joint effort of guest and locals joining forces to help control and manage this invasive, but delicious fish. The guest and locals were treated to Lionfish ceviche, Lionfish chowder, Lionfish and green banana salad, (green figs as the local call it), steamed Lionfish, roasted Lionfish and fried Lionfish.

We had a photographic competition that was launched at the opening ceremony. Below are a few of the photos that were submitted. We had an interactive photography session with Francesca Diaco, a renowned underwater photographer.  This interactive session will be a staple at Dive Fest.

There was a treasure hunt but no one found the treasure so we will keep it until Dive Fest 2017, that will take place from the 9th to the 16th of September 2017.

Dive Fest 2017 promises to be greater and planning has already started.  All our partners are committed to ensure that all the participants of Dive Fest 2017 will leave St. Lucia wishing they could stay longer.

Donovan Brown President, St. Lucia Divers Association – Anbaglo. 23.09.2016

Posted in Local Diving, Press Release, Travel Destinations | Leave a comment

DIA Members to Exhibit at DEMA Show 2016

DIALogo-tag-200The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the DEMA Show on November 16-19, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.  Make it a point to visit our DIA Members FIRST.

Manufacturers

Manufacturers – Retail Services Software

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Certification Agencies

Non-Profits

Associations, Media and Shows & Events

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Editorial – September 2016

Gene-Video-200A New Season Starts In September
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

September has always been an exciting time for me.  As a young boy, September meant going back to school and getting new clothes, school supplies and a “Book Bag” to carry everything in. It was time to reunite with my friends and tell them about my summer exploits, usually centered around playing baseball and swimming & snorkeling.  It was all about starting a new year in school.

September is pretty much the same for me now but instead of starting a new school year, I’m involved in starting a new scuba diving season.  It’s about planning our Association’s activities for the coming year and helping our Members introduce their new products and services for the year to come.  Working with a number of industries that specialize in recreational scuba diving it is somewhat challenging to keep things like seasonality curves, seasonal variations and industry priorities in proper perspective.  It also important to consider what sector you belong to in the industry.

Having worked in the Training, Retail, Manufacturing, Travel, Media and Consulting (Service) Sectors of the Diving Market, I think I may have a clear perspective as to the priorities and focus different industry sectors have and hold.  Of course, this is only one person’s opinion so I may have to start off by saying, “In my humble opinion….”  If it works for you and you can relate to it, that’s great.  If not, maybe you can share your experience with me.

Theory:  I believe the new scuba diving season starts on September 1.  It does not start at the Dema Show, January 1, March 1 or Memorial Day.

Retail Dive Centers are the heart beat of the diving industry. They are the front line ambassadors that represent their Vendors (Manufacturers, Training and Travel) to the general public.  In September, many stores are finishing up their summer classes and starting new classes at their local High Schools and Colleges.   For them, September is still a busy month, but if a local economy is centered around children, then September is the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.  In September, Retail Dive Centers should be getting their inventory down to zero and building up their open-to-buy. Successful Retailers are working their year end inventory down, making time to visit with their Major Vendors, and stocking up on new inventory for the Christmas Holiday.  They commit in September with a stipulation that they can change their order at Dema Show and they ask for all the Dema specials.  Now they are free to attend as many seminars at Dema Show they need to.

Dive Operators are still busy in September, even though they have lost the summer crowd and the water is starting to cool off.  Depending on their location, if may be time to start taking the boats out of the water for the Fall.

Manufacturers are divided into two groups.  The Major Brands and the Also Rans.  The Major Brands have been working on new product all year long.  They received samples in July or August and have already held their Sales Meeting.  Inventory is scheduled to start arriving on September 1.  The Sales Reps are waiting for Labor Day to end and then they will be on the road, visiting their Dealers, taking orders (I don’t think they do booking programs anymore), and trying to tie up as much of their Dealer’s open-to-buy as they can.  Since most of their Dealers will be in Seminars at Dema Show, they will focus on sales to their best Dealers and schedule appointments at Dema for those Dealers who did not purchase.

The small manufacturers, or Brand Marketers, are working on their booth, catalog and samples for the Dema Show.  They will take orders at Dema and order from their OEM’s after the show.  The disadvantage of being small means that while the more established manufacturers are seeing their Dealers and making sales, these smaller companies are working on their catalogs and ignoring sales.

Sales Reps are on the road in September.  If they aren’t they are losing sales.

The Travel Industry is the one sector of the market that is in step with the consuming public.  Travel sales is all about Heads on Beds and Butts on Seats.  If you don’t sell today’s spot, it is gone tomorrow.  September is different in different parts of the world, so I can’t speak for everyone.  In the Caribbean, it is usually a slow period for a number of reasons. 1)  It may be active Hurricane Season.  If it’s not, then it’s a good time to invite Retail Travel Buyers to your Island for a FAM trip.  2) It’s a great time to go to Surf Expo and buy apparel and snorkeling packages for your gift shops.  3) It’s a good time to do repairs for next season.  4) It’s a good time for staff vacations and to get ready for DEMA Show.  Personally, I love the Caribbean in September.  It’s like Summer without the crowds.

The Training Professionals consider September as the “Get everything ready for Dema” month.  With over 300 seminars a little more than 60 days away, it’s time to get all the ducks in a row and advertise and book seminar spots at the show.

Marketing Professionals are always planning six months ahead of today, so by virtue of working in the future for a living, on September 1 we are already in the new season.

I hope I’ve made my case for declaring September 1 as the beginning of the new dive season every year.  If you agree or don’t agree, I’d like to hear from you.  Please email me at gene@diveindustry.net 

See Dive Industry Foundation at DEMA Show, Booth 4225.

 

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Eden Beach Resort Bonaire – Fall Special

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

edene-beach-logo-200Fall Travel Special
Eden Beach Resort Bonaire

$745 per diver – hotel room (dbl occupancy)

Drive, Dive and Relax this Fall…Visit Eden Beach Resort Bonaire this Fall and take advantage of own discounted dive package.  Experience diving in the tranquil waters of Bonaire with our onsite dive shop, Wannadive Bonaire. Dine at Spice Restaurant and let their chief and his team surprise you while you enjoy a dinner on the edge of the Caribbean Sea.  Take in all Bonaire has to offer this Fall such as Taste of Bonaire, Lionfish Derby, Bonaire Regatta and more.

Book now!  Packages starting at $745 per Diver – Hotel Room (dbl occupancy)
Travel Dates: July 6 – September 30, 2016
Must Book by Date: August 1, 2016

7 Night Dive Package includes:

  • 7 nights in a hotel room
  • 6 days unlimited shore diving with Wanna dive Bonaire
  • FREE Nitrox
  • 7 day truck rental
  • Free wi-fi
  • Certain restrictions apply
  • Must book by September 30, 2016

Contact: For more details, contact your favorite Travel Specialist
Michele Spinale
U.S. Reservations Office
343 Neponset Street
Canton, MA 02021
phone: 1-855-228-4644
Web: www.edenbeach.com
email: edenbeach@travelmarketing.com

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Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire Receives Onetime Government Funding

Coral Restoration Foundation - car

CORAL RESTORATION FOUNDATION BONAIRE RECEIVES ONETIME GOVERNMENT FUNDING 

Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean (September 5, 2016), Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire is happy to announce it received a onetime funding from the Dutch government to further develop the foundation’s activities.

The CRF Bonaire project started in 2012 with the original support of Buddy Dive Resort Bonaire and the Coral Restoration Foundation USA. The foundation’s main goal is to increase awareness of the need to restore coral on Bonaire. Increasing involvement of the dive community, developing a world class nursery site to attract international attention and increased production of corals and the development of at least four snorkel accessible sites to increase visibility and generate income for the foundation. All this will eventually lead to the most important objective; develop a more structural manner of funding and become a financially independent foundation.

Today the foundation consists of three partners; Buddy Dive, Eden Beach and Harbour Village and is depending on the resources of these partners. With the government funding the foundation can purchase some important basics like a dedicated CRF boat and car and make a big step towards becoming an independent, financially self-supporting foundation. The first step has been made, with the purchase of a dedicated car. Another investment the foundation would like to do with the funding is to set-up a restoration site accessible to snorkelers at the cruise terminal. By creating awareness and extending accessibility the foundation hopes to involve more tourists, other than only divers. Other individual donations and the ‘Adopt a Coral’ program will stay vital to the further development of the foundation into the future.

Transplanted corals 2011 - 2016So far the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire installed 4 nurseries, consisting of 70 trees with a hosting capacity of 9000 corals. More than 8000 corals have been already transplanted back to the reef and thanks to the Government Funding the foundation will plant 4000 corals more within the next year. A PADI Coral Restoration Diver Distinctive Specialty Course was developed in order to train volunteers and already 350 divers received their certification. The goal is to increase these numbers and doubling the transplanted corals in the next couple of years.

 

About Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire

Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire (CRFB) is a Non-Profit Organization founded in 2012, when Ken Nedimeyer of CRF USA was invited to visit the island to work with and assist Bonaire with their continued  efforts to preserve Bonaire’s greatest assets, its reefs. In February 2012, the Bonaire government together with the Bonaire National Marine Park, granted a permit to a local dive operator to start the CRF Bonaire Pilot Project. The project centers on the restoration of the shallow reefs by establishing staghorn and elkhorn coral nurseries and restoration sites.  The mission of the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire (CRFB) is to develop affordable, effective strategies for protecting and restoring the shallow water population of staghorn and elkhorn corals along the coastlines of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. CRF Bonaire, supported by the local government and the Bonaire Marine Park, is developing a large scale reef restoration program, promoting awareness and engaging tourists and local volunteers.

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Dive Fest Saint Lucia 2016

SLTB-Logo-100Dive Fest Saint Lucia 2016
By Gene Muchanski, Correspondent
Caribbean Dive News

When I think of a Tropical Island Paradise, I think of a beautiful little island, somewhere  in the Caribbean that has great scenery, gorgeous weather, friendly people, fun activities, and of course, great food.   Not only does the island have to have great accommodations and be easy to get to, it has to capture the imagination and leave a lasting impression on me.  How many times have we fantasized about our own little tropical island with white sand beaches, lined with palm trees and surrounded by turquoise waters? For the passionate scuba divers among us, our tropical island paradise has to include warm, gin-clear waters, abundantly filled with tropical fish and spectacular coral reefs.

Halfway down the Eastern Caribbean Archipelago of the Lesser Antilles is the island of Saint Lucia.  Your journey to this Simply Beautiful Tropical Island begins on their website at www.stlucia.org.  The Saint Lucia Tourist Board welcomes you to Saint Lucia – The Perfect Destination.  “Let Saint Lucia take your breath away with miles of unspoiled landscapes, palm-fringed beaches, and idyllic sunsets as a backdrop to the majesty of the Piton mountains.” 

Saint Lucia is indeed The Perfect Destination, for Weddings & Honeymoons, Yachting & Sailing, Snorkeling & Scuba Diving, Health & Wellness Retreats, Nature & Adventure Tours and much, much more.  The Saint Lucia Tourist Board is an active group of people that plan events on the islands that capture the attention and interest of vacationers worldwide.  For your pleasure, Saint Lucia is home to the Saint Lucia Carnival, Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, Dive Festival 2016, and the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.

anbaglo logoDive Fest Saint Lucia 2016 is a week-long celebration of the island’s  first-rate diving and snorkeling.  Hosted by The Saint Lucia Dive Association, Anbaglo, this event is intended to showcase the diversity of Saint Lucia’s marine, land and human resources.  Thirteen (13) Dive Operators and eighteen (18) Hotels participate in the events which include dives, tours, a Photo Competition and a Treasure Hunt.  Anbaglo has put together some great prizes for the Photo Competition and the Treasure Hunt, including an Underwater Camera, Laptop and Dive Computer.

The Dive Fest begins on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at your Host Hotel and ends on Saturday, September 17, 2016 with a Sea Food Splash and Closing Ceremony.  Travel arrangements and hotel accommodations can be booked directly through Debbie Helms of Roatan Chater, a Preferred Agent Saint Lucia Specialist.  Debbie was recently honored as a Piton Award Recipient at Saint Lucia’s second annual Piton Award Creole Carnival Gala in June of this year.

We look forward to hearing from participating hotels like Anse Chastanet  and Sandals about Dive Fest Saint Lucia 2016 and what plans they have for 2017. We are sure that Action Adventure Divers, Sandals Dive Center, Scuba St. Luica and the other participating Dive Operators will pull out the red carpet for their diving guests and show them the best that Saint Lucia Diving has to offer.

Roatan-100If your Dive Center or Club did not plan a dive trip this year to Dive Fest Saint Lucia 2016, contact Debbie Helms at Roatan Charter about getting in on the fun for 2017.

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Editorial – August 2016

Gene-Video-200August is Time to Regroup.
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

It’s only August and the season is already starting to wind down.  Companies are planning their annual sales meeting and product managers are busy getting their samples in for the new season.  Training and Travel people are taking their last minute vacations before the DEMA Show.

On the industry front, it’s all about DEMA Show from here on out.  It’s like the industry has forgotten about the needs of the people in the trenches – the Retail Dive Centers, the Dive Operators and the Diving Instructors.  My take on this is that if you aren’t servicing your current customers now, in the peak of their busy season, why are you making plans to create new products and services to show them at DEMA?

We need to create a new rhythm for the industry.  The first step is to convince the retail business community that they are the ones who have the power to control the industry.  They are the people who write the checks to buy the goods and services from their vendors that keeps the industry flowing.  Without retail buyers, we would be a “Hobby Industry” and not a real for-business industry.   That doesn’t mean that the hobby part of recreational diving is bad.  In fact, it’s a good thing that needs to be developed in proper perspective.  But the core of this market has to be the full-time, professional, retail enterprise that invests time, money and manpower on a full-time basis, and serves as the link between the producers of diving goods and service and the consumers of diving goods and services.  It’s called channels of distribution.  From conception to consumption.

The second step in creating an industry rhythm that works for all of us is to establish an industry schedule in terms of pre-season, in-season and post season activity.  The more segments of the industry that we get on the same wave length, the smoother our industry will operate between the buyers and sellers.

The third and most important step is to integrate all the sectors of the industry, each doing their part in bringing goods and services to the general public.

The Dive Industry Association has been working with a few groups in the industry who are looking at the recreational diving market from a regional perspective.  We call it DIVE LOCAL.  Of course, there are many places throughout the world that have a high concentration of divers, diving businesses, and diving activity.  It’s our job to identify the various DIVE LOCAL groups, establish contact with the regional players, promote activities in each region, and communicate their activities to the scuba diving buying public.  There is strength in numbers and more business opportunities available than if these businesses tried to market on their own.  It’s our way of growing and defragmenting the market.

A good example of focusing on pockets of high-diver concentration is the work we are doing to promote Saint Lucia in the south eastern Caribbean.  We recently started to work with the the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.   They have a very active Tourist Board that promotes their tropical island destination.  Just in Scuba Diving alone, we noticed that the Saint Lucia Tourist Board along with 13 Dive Operators, 18 Hotels, 1 Dive Association and  1 Dive Travel Wholesaler (Roatan Charter) were working together on their Dive Festival Saint Lucia event to showcase their beautiful island to scuba divers, worldwide.  Now, that’s what I called cooperative marketing.

Good cooperative marketing grows local activity.  Good local activity grows the industry.  Good industries succeed and grow.  It’s time to build up local diving communities.

Would you like to see how DIVE LOCAL can help build your business and your local diving community?  See us at Dema Show – Booth 4225.

 

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BookItGlobal Offers Merchant Service

Book-It-global-200BookItGlobal

BookItGlobal, proud makers of DivingGlobal, would like to give any member of the Dive Industry Association special pricing on our merchant service offering.

Besides our software saving you time and money, we would like to extend an immediate savings with our merchant service activation.

Spend 15 minutes with a sales consultant, and if we can’t save you over your existing provider, we will give you $200 for your time!

It’s that easy!

Contact: Amanda Martin
Email: sales@bookitglobal.com
Phone: (916) 245-0052

Other services include:

  • Full POS & Financial system for diving
  • Free Non Profit software to run email campaigns
  • Mail server & campaign management software

**No hardware requirements**

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Mobby’s Introduces Beanies!

MOBBY’S INTRODUCES BEANIES!

BEANIE 1Mobby’s USA is excited to announce the launch of our all-weather Beanie. A versatile head accessory that can be worn during a dive or out of water as a cool fashionable, colorful addition to your dive outfit.

Offered in 5 eye-catching colors (Pink, Blue, Green, Black and Yellow) Sizing M, L.  MSRP $65

Mobby’s U.S. office is located in Beaverton, Oregon – an epicenter of outdoor, sport, and leisure activities. The office manages sales, marketing, distribution and post-sale product services including repair and maintenance for the Mobby’s brand of diving suits.

MobbysFounded in 1963, Mobby’s is a leading worldwide manufacturer of diving suits and dive accessories for men and woman. Company products have earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance within the recreational, commercial and technical diving community.

For Further Information, Please Contact:

Mark Ross – General Manager
1800 NW 169 th Place, Suite B110
Beaverton, OR 97006
Web:  www.mobbys-usa.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/MobbysUSA
Twitter: @mobbys.usa
SKYPE: Mobbys.USA
Tel. 503.747.7824
Cell 503.504.9117
Fax 503.747.7807

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Posted in Dive Equipment, Press Release | Leave a comment

Editorial – July 2016

Gene-Video-200July is the Half-Way Point to Everything
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

July has always been the most important month of the year for me in the diving industry. When you think about it, July is the halfway point to everything.  Half the year is behind us and half the year is ahead of us.  The middle of the Summer falls in the middle of July and if you haven’t made it by then chances are you are not going to make it by the end of the year.  If your seasonal diving business is not in full swing by mid-July, you left something out in your pre-season planning.  This is the time of year when successful businesses are executing their plans, not making them for the year. If your customers are not lined up and ready to take your classes, charters, and trips, they are not thinking SCUBA Diving now. Chances are they are thinking about things like “Back to School.”

The majority of the diving industry spent a lot of time in the pre-season exhibiting at Dive Shows across the country.  They were filling their calendars with activities that keep them in business.  They were meeting current customers, former customers and future customers and selling them on their business.  They were booking classes, dive charters and dive vacation trips.  They were creating the need for divers to buy diving equipment and cameras and videos and apparel.  And why wouldn’t every dive business exhibit at their Regional Dive Show in the pre-season?  Too expensive? Couldn’t or wouldn’t be away from their store for 1 weekend?  Maybe they think their market is too small for the venue?  Or maybe they were afraid their customers would see other Retailers at the show?  There are no logical excuses for not participating in your local dive shows.  It’s a proven fact – Trade Shows Work!  I hope to see you exhibiting at your local show next year.

Let’s have a better next year than this year.  Come see us at Dema Show in Booth 4225.

 

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