Editorial – February 2018

It’s February Already – Whaaaaatttt?
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

Holy Smokes!  It’s February. How did that happen so quickly?  I was prepared. I was ready. I made my plans and executed them in a timely manner.  But still, the month of January zoomed by.

How was it for you?  Did you do your business planning during the Holidays and hit the ground running in January?  We did and had a great month because of it.  We’re up 35% over this time last year.  And it’s not just us.  All of the dive show organizers were delighted with their attendance in January; Boot, Baltimore Dive Show, Lone Star State Dive & Travel, and two Adventure Travel Shows.  We are getting ready for Our World-Underwater in Chicago, followed by BTS and then the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show in Tacoma. And we have plans to do more diving and resort site visits.  It’s time to get some new pictures, videos, and stories about our diving businesses so we can take their story to the public.  This is going to be the year of the “BIG Dive Promotion.”  Divers will have more money to spend on equipment, training and travel this year and we owe it to them to help them spend their money wisely.

I don’t have a crystal ball or anything like that but after working in the Business of Diving for over 45 years, I do have a strong “gut” feeling.  Especially about this year.  Diving businesses are going to be listening to Dive Industry Mavens (Knowledgeable & Experienced Opinion Leaders) more seriously this year.  Mavens who have years of hands-on experience combined with a strong background in diving products, diving company history, marketing techniques, consumer behavior and countless hours of water time.  Successful businesses will want to know who will be buying this year, what they will be buying and why they are buying.  Companies that want to succeed will need to know the best ways to be in front of consumers when they are ready to make a buying decision.  This year will not be a time for rookies.  Only Mavens need apply.

Here are a few things we need to know to help businesses that want to succeed;  Product Knowledge.  What’s HOT, What’s NOT.  What’s NOW, What’s NEW, What’s NEXT.  Customer Knowledge.  Wholesalers need to know who the better Retailers are.  We don’t need many.  We only need good ones. Retailers need to focus on Active Divers – Current Customers, Former Customers & Future Customers.  Again, we don’t need many, just good ones.  Marketing Knowledge.  We have to have a message that resonates with our Divers and we have to reach them the way they liked to be reached, not the ways we like.  So is that all we need to do?  We just have to become Mavens at three things.  What we sell – Who we sell it to – How we reach our customers.  Easy?  No.  Manageable?  Yes.

Throughout the year, we will be discussing these three segments of Marketing Success; Product Management; Customer Acquision, Maintenance, & Retention; and Marketing Strategy.  Each topic opens up a whole new field of study, but we can organize it and break it down into easy-to-understand topics.  I’m looking forward to speaking with our industry leaders this year to learn and share some of our industry best practices in marketing.

Stay in touch.  Have a great season.  We’ll see you in Chicago.

 

 

 

 

 

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DIA Members to Exhibit at 2018 Our World-Underwater Dive & Travel Show

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the 48th Annual Our World-Underwater Dive & Travel Show on February 17-18, 2018 at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, Chicago, IL.  Visit our DIA Members FIRST.

 

Dive Stores

Dive Boat Operators

Manufacturers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Non-Profits

Associations, Media and Shows & Events

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Editorial – January 2018

January – The Beginning of a New Year
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

There is no better month for optimism than January.  As business owners in an adventure industry we tend to always see the silver lining in the clouds and are positive about the possibilities and opportunities in each new year.  Even though I may fit the description of the eternal optimist, I still believe there is no substitute for good planning and prompt follow-through. If you worked through the Holidays and did your strategic planning for the new year, January is just a month of following through on your plans.  Step by step.  You’ll be ready to hit the ground running and might even expect to have a gang-buster year right out of the gates.  If, however, you just enjoyed the Holidays and ignored your business management responsibilities, January is going to pass you by like you were standing still in the middle of the Daytona 500.

This year is going to be a record year for the diving industry.  I can feel it in my bones.  The United States has a Businessman in charge of the White House and the market is already off to the races.  The stock market is over 26,000.  That alone has added Trillions of dollars to the economy.  The Senate approved a tax cut and normal, everyday people – your customers – will have thousands of dollars more to spend this spring.  Politics aside, there is going to be more cash on the table this year for recreation and travel purchases.  If you are in the business of selling recreation gear and training or if you have a hugh investment in real estate and capital equipment specializing in watersports or if you make your living filling heads on beds and butts on seats, you need to prepare yourself for this boom in the market.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not running for office and I don’t care who you voted for.  What I do care about is that you are in business in the diving industry and there are millions of divers who will be looking to spend money this year.  They might as well spend their money with you rather than someone else.  Right?  The Dive Industry Association is in the Trade Association business and our mission is to help our Members better understand market opportunities and help them create a message that can be delivered to potential customers who need, want, and can afford their programs, products and services.

As an Association, we are ready for this year and our Sales are already UP 42% compared to last year.  We are spending our money on marketing tools that increase business opportunities for our Association and our Members.  We are increasing our print, digital and face-to-face marketing campaigns this year.  If there ever was a year that you wanted to join an organization that helps you reach more customers, this could be the year.

For more information about Membership in the Dive Industry Association, call Gene Muchanski at 321-914-3778 or email me at gene@diveindustry.net

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Innovative Scuba Concepts Introduces “Dealers With Doors”

Dear Scuba Community,

You have asked, and we have listened!

You have asked repeatedly for products that will allow you to compete against online sellers of scuba equipment.  We have now answered by developing a line of products that can only be sold through brick and mortar retail.  These items will not be available for sale online and we will not sell to any dealer that attempts to offer these products for sale any place outside the four walls of their store.  We are calling this our “Dealers with Doors™” program.

Innovative Scuba masks, and regulator introductions (featured in the August 2017 Scuba Diving Magazine ScubaLab tests) are a examples of the first products we are aggressively marketing with the “Dealers with Doors™”  program. We have and will continue to point consumers to our retail dealers for the sale of these products. A great example of low cost and high quality are the Makai regulator 1st and 2nd stage and the Honu regulator 1st and 2nd stage.

Furthermore, our sister company Tovatec has engineered the most advanced dive light on the market.  It features 1,000 lumens, built in USB tail charging, and a color indicator for battery charge combined into a compact package.  These products will serve as the foundation for a growing line of products for Dealers with Doors™.

We hope you consider this new line of products as you determine your store’s product selection.  Since the products cannot be purchased online, the retail pricing is at your sole discretion.  Showrooming and customers price comparing on their smartphone is no longer a threat to your business.

The Dealers with Doors™ regulators, Tovatec lights, and Innovative Scuba masks, are available as of DEMA 2017.

We welcome your input on the program and future products – feel free to call your sales representative or our company at 719.597.2885

Regards,
Chuck Fultz, Owner
Innovative Scuba Concepts

 

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Why Are Dive Stores So Important?

DIRA – Dive Industry Retailers Association
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

The Dive Retailers Sector of the Dive Industry Association was formed to address the problems, issues and needs  that are relevant to the modern day Retail Dive Center, or as I like to call them, Scuba Diving Adventure Centers.  The Association is open to all Professional Retail Watersport Stores regardless of their membership or affiliation with any Manufacturer, Training Agency or Travel Wholesaler.

Retail Scuba Diving Adventure Centers are critically important to the health and growth of our recreation.  As we saw in our “Dive Local” campaign, stores perform the four main functions of the industry.  They teach people how to dive, sell them equipment, take them diving and keep them active in the recreation.  Stores are the focal point of every diving community.  Primarily, they are open to the public and serve as the first point of contact a person has with scuba diving.  They are our industry ambassadors as well as our service representatives and local experts on everything that has to do with diving.

First Point of Contact:  People come in contact with scuba diving in many ways.  A Retail business should make sure they are covering as many of them as they can.  First point of contact could be having a commercial location that people can patronize. Personal contact also means meeting people at dive shows and introducing them to your store.  Having a good web site is a very important means of first contact, with the new generation as is having a strong, active presence on social media. Having an aggressive outreach campaign using the phones and email is a big plus.  Being known as the local diving expert in your community is the best industry builder we have.  We are all Dive Industry Ambassadors.  Now we just have to get excited about it.

Teaching People to Dive:  Teaching scuba diving classes and continuing education is a big part of dive retailing.  There is so much to learn in pursuit of our recreation.  Entry level courses and advanced diver training makes us more knowledgeable in diving and hopefully a safer diver.  Photography and other specialty course keeps that interest going.

Selling Equipment:  You can’t scuba dive without gear. Making sure your scuba student learns about the equipment is at least 1/3 of the training.  Scuba Divers who invest in their own equipment, dive more often.  Occasional divers have a tendency to rent their gear.  Either way, equipping our Divers is a major function of dive retailing.

Go Diving:  Once you learn to dive and buy your gear, it’s time to go diving.  Local diving is the logical way to begin.  A successful dive store will have a dive club that customers can participate in.  Local dives, boat dives and vacation trips are all good ways to keep your divers diving.  It’s important to remember, having an active diving calendar at your store gives your customers a reason to purchase diving equipment.  People only buy gear when they have a reason to do so.

Stay Active:  A successful dive store keeps their customers active.  Active customers, buy gear, they enroll in continuing education, they go on trips and they refer their friends to you.  There are many ways to stay active in the recreation.  Continuing education is one.  Participating in a Dive Club is another.  Subscribing to dive magazine is a great one.  And my favorite is attending the annual dive show in your territory.

In summary, that’s why Scuba Diving Adventure Centers are important to the diving industry.  Our Retailers are the local diving experts and ambassadors.  They work in the business on a full or part-time basis.  They teach diving, sell equipment, go diving and keep people active.  That’s what they do for the industry.  But, what does the Industry do for them?  Rather than say, “Nothing” or “We sell them a lot of equipment” or “We sell them a lot of Certifications” or “We charge them annual dues to buy stuff from us” , let’s  mention the things we can do to help them succeed and grow the industry.

Partner with them at Regional Dive Shows:  Manufacturers, Certification Agencies, and Travel Wholesalers should sponsor their local retailers at dive and travel shows.  The price of a booth may be cost prohibitive for a single Retail Store but is well within the budget for a vendor who has many Dealers in a region.  The perfect co-op happens when the vendor pays for the booth and the freight for the display, the Local Sales Representative organizes and manages the staffing schedule, and the local dive store personnel staff the booth.  That’s a WIN – WIN – WIN.

Sponsor a Regional Meeting and Party for your Dealers:  How often do you meet with your Dealers?  Once a year at DEMA?  More if your Rep visits them in person and pays his own way.  My question is, “How many times do YOU meet with your Dealers?”  I asked a large manufacturer who used to throw a DEMA Party for their Dealers, why they didn’t do it anymore.  Their answer was that it cost a lot of money and it didn’t seem important to their Dealers.  Of course, we all know that if the Dealers stopped their orders until they got a party, there would be a lot more Dealer Parties at the DEMA Show.

More Co-Op Advertising:  There is a dangerous trend of vendors going directly to the consumer to sell programs, products and services.  Not only is it time consuming and expensive, it undermines the Dealer.  Co-Op advertising is just that, cooperative.  Creating a marketing campaign that ties in the Dealer is far more successful when both partners do their fair share in the campaign.  Changing your channel of distribution is foolish if it undermines your supply chain.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due:  A vendor’s reputation becomes what it is because of the way their Dealers promote them.  In my old Southern California Territory, my customers were loyal Scubapro & NAUI Divers or Scubapro & PADI Divers based on the amount of sales, marketing, advertising and promotion I did.  Our store helped make the vendors what they were in our territory based on our promotions to our customers, not because their national efforts.  I’ve seen major companies rise and fall in sales and reputation based on the amount of local support and promotion they received in a given territory.  It’s very foolish, indeed, to think that your company is smarter or bigger than the power of the local dealers.

Give Your Local Dealers a Great Imagine To Live Up To:  You promote your company by promoting your local dealers.  It’s a smart company that puts their Dealers on a pedestal and promotes them to the local market.  People do business with people, not companies.  They build relationships with people and loyalty with companies that serve their interests.

Make your company the company people want to do business with because of the people you have in your network.  Support your local Dealers, Sales Reps, Product Ambassadors and Mavens.  

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Editorial – December 2017

December is Time To Celebrate…Maybe
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

I love December.  Always have and hopefully always will.  As we look back on the past eleven months, how many of us in the diving industry can honestly say they had a great year because they understood the market, did what was necessary to prosper and succeeded?  I don’t see all of your hands going up.  I saw the ones who had a good year in 2017.  They were at the trade and consumer shows, either as exhibitors, attendees or support organizations.    They were giving lecturers on the joys of diving and their own personal experiences.  They wrote articles and books about all kinds of diving.  They traveled to their favorite dive sites, whether it was their local quarry or some exotic resort destination.  They were spending time with their customers keeping the excitement of diving alive.  I saw them at the beach and on local boat dives.  I dove with them at dive resorts in the Caribbean and the South Pacific.  They were out there and they were active.  Among this group, the business of diving was alive and well. And so were their customers.

I could spend hours writing about what I didn’t see and the groups and sectors who did little or nothing to promote diving, even to their customers.  I could tell you about the many diving businesses that worked hard at maximizing their income while cutting back on  their marketing and advertising expenditures.  But in the true spirit of Christmas and the Holiday Season, in addition to my belief that every Dive Industry Leader should be more like Dale Carnegie (never criticize, condemn or complain), I will not go negative on you.  Instead, I would like to focus on what can be done to support our customers, increase opportunities for them and grow the industry.

Scuba Diving is a social recreation.  It all starts out because one person thinks it’s cool and goes diving.  Then they get their family and friends involved.  One thing leads to another and they buy their diving gear and make plans to either join a club or find an active dive store that dives a lot.  I’ve noticed that people tend to first become divers if they know someone else who dives.  They stay actively involved in the recreation if there are a sufficient number of planned dives and shows & events to attend.  Keeping people actively involved in scuba diving is all based on activities and relationships.

I’ve been a diving Cheerleader all my life.  I loved scuba diving from the first time I put my head underwater and drew breathe from a regulator.  There weren’t a lot a divers back in 1967 in Connecticut.  In my High School of 1,200 kids there were 2.  I made it 3.  Soon there were dozens. My philosophy was, “Let’s Go Diving.”  If you don’t know how, I’ll teach you.  If you don’t have gear, I’ll lend you one of my extra sets until you buy your own.  Either way, I’m going diving every weekend, with or without you.  For the next 30 years I was never without a dive buddy.  Now at the age of 65 I no longer lead the charge or rally the troops from the front lines.  That torch has been passed on to a younger generation.  I’m content to enjoy my “Princess Diving” (warm, clear, shallow, with lots of fish) with my Best Dive Buddy while I rally the new troops from my computer (from Florida or at a Dive Resort in Saint Somewhere).

What will make scuba diving popular again?  If you are already certified, go diving.  Invite a friend to go with you.  Get your un-certified friends to take lessons.  Build your inner circle of diving buddies and go out and have fun.  Find a dive store that is active.  Join a club that does things.  Find a Travel Agent who knows the best dive destinations.  Visit our blogs, websites and social media publications to see how many diving opportunities are out there for active dive industry professionals.  We’ll introduce you to who you need to know to get connected.  There’s a lot of potential out there for you.

The Dive Industry Association and it’s non-profit organization, The Dive Industry Foundation, are in the business of knowing the diving industry and making recommendations to divers and non-divers alike, so they can: 1) Learn to Dive.  2) Buy their gear.  3) Go Diving.  and 4) Stay Active.  The Dive Industry Association does its work through business memberships and the Dive Industry Foundation does its work through donations from Industry Professionals like yourself.  Help grow the diving industry and our recreation.   Support these two organizations.  Happy Holidays.  GO Diving.

For more information, contact Gene Muchanski at gene@diveindustry.net

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Industrial Revolution (Intova) & Innovative Scuba Concepts Announces the Termination of Its Distribution Agreement

Industrial Revolution, Inc.
5835 Segale Park Drive C
Tukwila, WA 98188
(425) 285-1111
www.industrialrev.com
www.intova.com

Innovative Scuba Concepts 
6170 Lakeshore Court
Colorado Springs, CO 80915
(719) 597-2885
www.innovativescuba.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Industrial Revolution (Intova) & Innovative Scuba Concepts Announces the Termination of Its Distribution Agreement

Contacts:
Steve Llorente, Vice President of Sales – Industrial Revolution, Inc. steve@industrialrev.com / (425) 285-1111

Chuck Fultz, President- Innovative Scuba Concepts
chuck@innovativescuba.com / (719) 597-2885

TUKWILA, WA — November 28, 2017 – Industrial Revolution, Inc., owner of the Intova brand and Innovative Scuba Concepts announced today that they have mutually agreed to end their exclusive distribution agreement. The termination of the agreement is effective December 1, 2017.

After much consideration and a desire to best serve dealers in the scuba dive market, the companies came to the decision to end their partnership. The return of distribution to Industrial Revolution (IR) will enable the company to offer dealers access to all Intova products and direct access to Intova’s technical support team. It will also allow Innovative Scuba Concepts (ISC) to focus on their own brands within the dive market.

Dealer orders for Intova products that have been submitted to Innovative Scuba Concepts prior to December 1st will be filled and invoiced from their facility. Any backorders that cannot be filled and orders for new products, including the new X4K camera and Intova’s new Marine Grade accessories will be transferred to IR for fulfillment upon new product launch in December. Beginning December 1, 2017 all dealer orders for Intova cameras and accessories should be sent direct to IR for fulfillment. Dealers who purchased Intova products between 2014-2016 will have active accounts with Industrial Revolution and can place orders without delay.

As a welcome to dealers who have been purchasing Intova products from ISC, Industrial Revolution will be extending the DEMA 2017 show offers to dealers through December 2017.   Orders must indicate “DEMA 2017 SPECIAL” when submitted and must be shipped by December 31, 2017.

To submit orders: EMAIL: orders@industrialrev.com ONLINE: http://www.industrialrev.com FAX: (206) 812-2250 PHONE: (425) 285-1111

Dealer questions: Candice Mann – Candice.mann@industrialrev.com

About Intova
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1995, Intova looks to the scenic landscapes around them for inspiration. Their mission is to deliver camera products and accessories that offer high value and unique feature sets. Intova’s pursuit of innovation has led to many industry firsts and has allowed the product line to expand to include digital cameras, HD video cameras, and waterproof electronics. Find us at www.intova.net

About Innovative Scuba Concepts
Founded in 1988, Innovative Scuba Concepts has grown to become the market leader in diving accessories, offering more than 4,000 products to customers in the United States and abroad. Industry leaders know they can trust Innovative Scuba Concepts to provide unparalleled customer service combined with a wide variety of quality products at a value price.  web: www.innovativescuba.com

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Isla Cozumel: A Mexican Island with a Caribbean Flare

Isla Cozumel: A Mexican / Caribbean Island Paradise
By Gene Muchanski
Executive Correspondent, Caribbean Dive News

Isla Cozumel is a Mexican Island with a Caribbean flare. In a beautiful tropical setting, the island is alive with watersports activities yet enjoys a relaxed tempo of life.  In this turquoise water, white sand beach, and lushly vegetated island you can choose to actively pursue your favorite watersport passions or do nothing at all.  In her own way, Isla Cozumel caters to every visitor in a very unique and personal way.

The Island of Cozumel is one of the better known and more popular diving destinations in the world. A beautiful little island off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Isla Cozumel beckons to scuba divers and water sports enthusiasts from around the globe.  Cozumel is accessible by major airlines landing at Cozumel’s own International Airport, cruise ships docking at one of its cruise terminals and by a short ferry boat ride across the channel from Playa del Carmen. Cozumel is a tiny island measuring 34 miles long from North to South and 8 miles wide from East to West.

DSC_0648-200Cozumel has become the popular diving destination it is today for many reasons. First and foremost, the island is home to the second largest coral reef system in the world.  The water is warm and clear and thanks to a mild ocean current, the scuba diving is almost effortless. The reefs are alive and abundantly populated with numerous species of fish, and thanks to the Mexican Government, are protected in Chankanaab National Park.  Even the locals are not allowed to fish in this beautiful marine preserve.  That means the marine inhabitants and the beautiful sea fans and coral reefs will be there for our enjoyment for generations to come.

It’s easy to get to Cozumel. Scuba Divers normally choose to fly directly into Cozumel International Airport.  The island is served by most major airlines including Aero Mexico, Air Tran, and United.  Depending on the time of day and time of year, going through immigration is relatively painless.  While some Resorts may pick you up at the airport, it’s not a problem if yours doesn’t.  The main city of San Miguel is next to the airport and most of the dive resorts are on the main road on the other side of San Miguel.  Shuttle vans are readily available for around $20 per person.

Cruise Ships are a popular way to visit Cozumel. There is a Cruise Ship Terminal in downtown San Miguel and another newer terminal a few miles south towards Chankanaab Marine Park.  Cozumel is currently the leader of cruise ship arrivals around the world.  It is estimated that between 2 and 3 million “Day Trippers” from the cruise ships visit the shops of Cozumel every year.

Another popular way to visit Isla Cozumel is by Ferry from Playa del Carmen. For years vacationers from Cancun and Playa del Carmen have taken the Ferry to Cozumel to visit this beautiful Island to enjoy the abundant watersports, shopping and restaurants.  At $13 per crossing, the Ferry is popular with the locals and people who work on the Island.

DSC_0481-200Scuba Diving has been a popular attraction for over 40 years on the Island of Cozumel and it is estimated that over 300,000 people come to Cozumel every year for the watersports. That’s not counting the 2 ½ million people arriving by cruise ships!  The first and most respected dedicated Dive Resort on the island is Scuba Club Cozumel.  Founded in 1976, this 61 room, waterfront Dive Resort has its own Dive Boats, Dive Shop and Restaurant.  Diving doesn’t get any easier than walking out of your room and onto the dive boat that’s waiting for you at the Resort’s own dock.  Managing Partner Timothy Massimino has been at the helm of Scuba Club Cozumel for 34 years now, overseeing a staff of 100-120 employees, some who have been with the resort for 20-30 years.

Booking a trip for you and your dive buddy or a group of divers is as easy as finding a reliable Dive Travel Wholesaler like Scuba Travel Ventures or Roatan Charter.  Working with a Dive Travel Specialist gives you a number of options in Airfare, Hotel Accommodations, Dive Operators and after dive attractions.  Seasoned Dive Operator Dive Paradise has their own fleet of Dive Boats, Dive Guides and Dive Instructors as well as their own Boat Pier near downtown San Miguel.  Independent Boat Operators like Sea Robin and Dimi Scuba Tours work with a number of Resort Hotels and arrangements can be made to pick you up at your own dock.

09-3546-200A major factor to consider in planning a dive trip is the amount of equipment support you can get when you are miles away from home and your local dive store. Cozumel has a number of dive stores scattered around the island but when it comes to repairs and hard to find spare parts, Cozumel Scuba Repair is the best place to go.  Founded by former NAVY SEAL Larry Cleghorn, Cozumel Scuba Repair has personnel that are qualified as repair technicians for most of the major equipment manufacturers in the world.  Knowing you can find that little 50 cent O-ring which saves your diving vacation goes a long way in making Cozumel next year’s dive destination of choice.

DSC_0314-200The Island of Cozumel takes its diving very seriously. For your diving safety and enjoyment there is a Hyperbaric Chamber and Medical Center downtown by the waterfront.  The Chamber is staffed by full-time Medical Professionals, including UHMS Certified Physicians trained to assist all Scuba Diving Injuries.  The Chamber is a Member of the SSS Recompression Chamber Network and part of the Divers Emergency Assistance Network.

If you’re into making six dives a day while on vacation, then Cozumel is a good choice for you. If your idea of a good vacation is waking up at 7 a.m., having a delightful breakfast, then packing your gear and going on the boat for a two tank dive, followed by lunch and a nap, then Cozumel is definitely your kind of place.   And the day doesn’t end there.  There is plenty of sightseeing to do on the island and many wonderful places to catch up on your Caribbean Dining experiences.  Your taste buds can experience everything from Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville to the Fogo Do Brasil Steak House and an after-dinner cigar at Mini Havana.

A good rule of thumb is not to make any scuba dives 24 hours before flying home. That last day on the island can be well-spent by renting a car and doing a little sight-seeing.  A favorite place to visit is Hacienda Antigua, Tequila Factory & Store for a little Tequila tasting.  It’s a short drive on Benito Juarez from downtown San Miguel, and being able to bring home a bottle of “Crema al Tequila” to pour on top of your ice cream will make you the talk of the town back home.

DSC_0450-200So when you are making out your “Bucket List” for places you’d like to dive before you die, Cozumel should be at the top of your list. Because after you’ve been there once, you’re  going to want to go back again and again.   So let’s recap the reasons why you are going to want to Dive Cozumel;  It’s a beautiful Island;  Cozumel has a temperate climate year round; The water is warm and clear, with gentle ocean currents; The marine life is abundant and protected.  The diving is easy from a boat yet accessible from shore.  The diving conditions appeal to all levels of diver experience and the grand majority of diving is between 30 and 100 feet.  There is an active Hyperbaric Chamber and Medical Clinic on the Island.  Cozumel itself is easy to get to; There are plenty of Resorts, Dive Operators and Dive Stores; There are plenty of Restaurants and Bars; Taxis are inexpensive.  There is no reason to drink & drive.  The Peso / Dollar exchange rate is around 13 to 1, making Cozumel a great value for your money.  Most of the people you deal with in Cozumel speak English in addition to being happy, friendly and courteous.  And most importantly, Cozumel is a safe place to vacation

Tourism is the bread and butter of many countries around the world. Political Leaders know how to roll out the red carpet for tourists if and when they want to.  The Political Leaders of Cozumel always want to.

Here is a quote from the Mayor of Cozumel,  Lic. Fredy Efren Marrufo Martin:  “Dear Friends: Welcome to Cozumel Island, our Heaven on Earth. An excellent tourist destination of the Mexican Caribbean, where you will enjoy its famous hospitality, and great services.  As Mayor, I welcome and encourage you to enjoy the natural beauties of Cozumel.  This paradise belongs to everyone.”

This is what Mayor Martin said to the people of Cozumel:  “Dear People of Cozumel: Cozumel is currently the leader of cruise ship arrivals around the world.  The best way to present ourselves to the tourists that visit us is by our politeness, hospitality and the excellent services we provide.  Cozumel is our home, I encourage that we work together to keep making our paradise an Island of peace and tranquility that we all can enjoy.”

Put Isla Cozumel on your “Bucket List.” You’ll be glad you did.

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DIA Members to Exhibit at Lone Star State Dive & Travel Show

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the Lone Star Dive & Travel Show on January 27-28, 2018 at the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Hotel, Frisco, TX.  Visit our DIA Members FIRST.

Dive Clubs

Manufacturers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Non-Profits

Associations, Media and Shows & Events

Posted in Events & Activities, Shows & Events | Leave a comment

Editorial – November 2017

November is Time For Follow-up
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

Here it is, the end of November and everyone is getting out their November Newsletters.  Does that mean we should call them “Oldletters”?  Well, not really.  November is DEMA Show month and whether it falls on the first week of November or the third week of November, it’s still DEMA Show month.  This year DEMA started on November 1st.  Any newsletter put out on that day would have fallen to deaf ears and missed out-of-office eyes.  Our pre-show marketing period includes the days before the show.  That would have been in October.  The at-show period is the 4 days of DEMA and our post-show follow-up is the rest of November plus December after the show is over.  The closer we get to Thanksgiving, the less effective our follow-up will be.  But here’s a new way of looking at it.  If we treat post-show follow-up campaigns as part of our continual marketing program, following-up with contacts you saw at the show just adds another topic to your ongoing business relationship with clients.  So our post-show marketing topics should be about What’s NEW, What’s NOW, and What’s NEXT.  It means we have something new to talk about with a client who we just updated our relationship with at the show.

What is your topic of conversation this time of year?  I hope you aren’t thinking along the lines of “Well, DEMA is over and now everyone is taking off for the Holidays.”  That would be like getting ready to jump off a bridge.  What you might want to talk about with your clients, is that it was great seeing them again at the show.  You hope you showed them everything that is new for next season.  If you didn’t get an order at the show, now would be a good time to close that sale so your clients have your new products in stock for the biggest buying time of the year.  Impress upon them the importance of being ready before the Holidays are upon us. Then you could segway into wishing them a Happy Holiday with your promise to stay in touch all next year.

Successful companies have taken the “follow-up” concept and expanded it to the “stay-in-touch” concept.  The old way of thinking is to fish for leads at a trade show and then follow-up with the “hot leads” to make the sale.  In my opinion, that method is just wrong short term thinking.  I believe that sales take place because you have a product your clients need, want and can afford and they buy from you because they know you, like you and trust you.  So, to me, sales take place because of your relationship with your clients.  Relationships need to be started and nurtured over time.  To act as a trusted product representative, you need to keep in touch with your clients and respond to them when needed.  You need to be the person they like to buy from and represent the company they respect and enjoy doing business with.

In the diving industry, our success is dependent upon serving our clients better than our competition.  I can name a few companies that are/were successful at creating their own network of professionals, inviting key clients to be a part of that network, and establishing a customer-centric way of doing business that put their clients first and made their needs the company’s number one priority.  The message is clear:  Become a part of our Network and we’ll take care of you.  That’s the way to build brand loyalty.

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