Belize Dive Haven Founder, Celebrates 88th Birthday With a Dive

Sir Karim Hakimi, founder of the resort Belize Dive Haven, celebrated his 88th birthday with a scuba trip to welcome in his “next lap around the sun.”

Belize Dive Haven is super excited to wish our founder Sir Karim Hakimi a very happy 88th birthday! As part of his birthday celebration, Sir Hakimi decided to go scuba diving while visiting the resort, and had an absolute blast exploring the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea along with our dive instructors!

This isn’t his first experience with diving though! As a young man, Hakimi was enlisted in the Iranian Navy where he developed his love of the ocean and advanced his skills over the years as a salvage diver. Although he would go on to found one of Canada’s longest-lasting and successful eyeglass businesses, his love for scuba is something that has remained a constant in his life.

This passion for scuba has taken him to many diving sites around the world, but it was on a boat trip to Belize’s beautiful Turneffe Atoll that lead him to begin his quest to develop and open a resort where divers from across the globe could visit and experience the same majestic beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef as he did.

And thus Belize Dive Haven was born!

Once again, Happy Birthday Sir Hakimi, and here’s to many more diving adventures for year to come!

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Editorial – February 2021

Welcome To The World of Small Groups.
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
Dive Industry Professional

The new normal is here.  The covid pandemic has changed the way we work and play forever.  In the past year, we’ve seen the death, the destruction, the confusion, and a partial economic collapse of our robust world economy.  We’ve been through the shock, the denial, the anger, the blame, and now the realization that this problem is not merely going away, but will have to be dealt with in an intelligent and logical manner.  The world is learning what may work and what may not.  I can only hope and pray that cooler heads will prevail and that leaders will emerge to tackle this problem once and for all.

In the meantime, the population is wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding large crowds, getting vaccinations and acting responsible.  Our priority right now should be to learn how to be safe and do what is expected of us as we make plans to participate in diving and adventure travel once again.  Keep in mind that health professionals are working overtime to set realistic guidelines for our future behavior.  That means guidelines for our personal behavior as well as our business behavior.

So, here we are – February 2021.  The travel industry has been decimated and so has the recreational scuba diving industry.  But here’s the thing.  Life around the world is a mixed bag.  People are traveling and diving again, in specific areas, but not everywhere.  It seems that every country or island has a different government regulation for dealing with the virus.  Every airline carrier has their unique twist on CDC’s global recommendations.  So what is a diver to do?

The first thing you should do is to keep educated with respect to the current health guidelines that have been established for your home country and the country you are planning to visit.  Secondly, as I’ve written before, use the services of an experienced Travel Wholesaler.  Thirdly, take precautions when it comes to staying healthy, avoid large crowds, wear a mask, keep social distancing, and get your covid vaccination.  Even if you do all the right things, there is still a risk, so be alert for new potential problems.

One trend I’m starting to see is the acceptance and widespread use of doing things in small groups.  Gone are the days of packed concert halls, sports stadiums, and super sized conventions.  We are entering into an era of adventure travel experiences for small groups.  Dive Travel Specialists are taking their groups of 10-12 to their favorite resorts who keep them separated from other groups and may even provide a smaller dive boat dedicated to their group alone.  That is a very positive trend.  Not only is it good for small groups and the resorts, it’s good for the small business person.  Before the pandemic, we were seeing large national companies selling “invasion” style vacations to groups of 50-100 people.  How can a small business person compete with that?  I guess some people thought that over crowding a small island with hundreds of divers was “cool.”  Well, not any more.  Now it’s all about small groups, safety oriented procedures, and a quality vacation experience.  

Sandals – Media Tour

A funny thing about catering to many small groups at a resort, is that it is not a new thing.  In 2014 I participated in a Media FAM trip to Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort.  There were 16 of us and yet our Host split us up into two groups.  We had two vans, two dive boats, two guides and yet we still did everything together.  Sandals LaSource Greneda Resort has over 222 rooms and while we were there the resort had a 90% occupancy rate.  You would never know it  by just looking around.  The Resort is so well designed that we never felt it was overcrowded or even full.   One of our guides explained that Sandals designs their resorts to have many buildings, multiple swimming pools and many differently themed restaurants.  No matter where you stay at a Sandals Resort, you feel that you have the whole resort to yourself.

I think the Diving industry can learn some things from Sandals to bring in some fresh ideas on how to cater to many small groups of divers while giving the impression of exclusivity.  If our industry can market itself to the world as the best adventure travel recreation that defines the idea of the ultimate social distancing, I believe we can write our own ticket for many years to come.

Ask your participating Travel Wholesaler for a recommendation to a resort destination that will give you and your small group a high quality, low quantity, social distancing travel experience.  Read our recent blog, Why We Use Dive Travel Wholesalers.

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An Ocean Of Love Giveaway

This Valentine’s Day we are bringing you an 💙 OCEAN of Love 💙🐠🦈🐙🐢🐳

Enter to WIN our biggest giveaway ever worth over $3780! This is your chance to win an array of experiences and products inspired by the ocean to revive your adventure hungry spirit – from some of the best eco-conscious brands!

We’ve teamed up with nineteen amazing companies to give you $3780+ worth of Ocean Love. This package includes scuba gear, travel to far away places, training, apparel, bathing suit, jewelry, healthy snacks and body products. Here is the full breakdown:

💙 Private Training / Q&A Session with Shark Expert Cristina Zenato via Zoom ($400)

💙 Gogh Jewelry Design – Miss Scuba ocean lovers jewelry gift pack ($200)

💙 Kids Sea Camp – Family Dive Adventures ($500 voucher towards any trip)

💙 Fourth Element – ocean positive swimwear ($200)

💙 PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) online training voucher for a class of your choice (up to $250)

💙 Beqa Lagoon Resort Fiji ($500 voucher towards a trip + Beqa Shark T-shirt)   

💙 Dive Into Your Imagination by Annie Crawley – educational ocean books and DVDs ($100 voucher to shop online)

💙 Scubapro – pick your favorite colorful travel fins! ($250)

💙 Prawno Apparel – Inspired by life underwater ($100 voucher to shop online)

💙Your Bag Tag – customized luggage tags, fabric face mask, scuga gear ID tags… ($100 voucher to shop online)

💙 ScubaDoRag – colorful scuba socks, head bands… ($100 voucher to shop online)

💙 Dive into Pink – breast cancer awareness scuba goodies ($100)

💙 Deeply Designs – ocean inspired cafe cups, hats, accessories to celebrate the salty life ($100 voucher to shop online)

💙 ScubaFit – 60 minute consultation about diving fitness with Gretchen Ashton via Zoom ($300)

💙 Aroma CoCo Aromatherapy Intentional Blends gift set by CoCo Cheznaynay Secret Agent of Truth & Style ($100)

💙 Plantnrgy Plant-based Protein & Superfood Mixes ($50 voucher to shop online)

💙 Bear Claw Extracts – CBD Tincture for the Active, the Adventurous, and the Outdoorsy ($60)

💙 Kids Sea Camp Family Dive Adventures ($200 voucher towards any dive gear)

💙 700 Rivers – Sustainable all natural soaps ($100 voucher to shop online)

💙 PADI Dive Gear ($50 voucher to shop online)

💙 Daily Crunch Snacks – Sprouted Nut Snacks ($20)

💙 X-Ray Mag – International dive magazine subscription (priceless)

But you can’t win if you don’t enter…

In less than 20 seconds you will be in the running for this amazing giveaway.

Take 20 seconds and enter your email to win big. Enter NOW:

https://kingsumo.com/g/84juti/ocean-of-love-giveaway

Good Luck!

Szilvia

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Dive Pirates Plan Free Virtual Event

Pirates Plan Free Virtual Event for 17th Annual Dive Pirates Ball

February 20, 2021 8pm – 9pm

Golden Ticket Raffle on sale now!  Live Auction * Keynote Speaker* Action-Packed One-Hour Event

To reach as many people as possible, the Dive Pirates Foundation moved its annual Dive Pirates Ball online for a one-hour event to include a live auction, registration giveaway, trip raffle and much more as it continues its mission to celebrate life after injury through adaptive scuba diving.  

“We are thrilled to meet our recipients and chapters where they are now, all across the country, as well as our friends and family around the world as we find ourselves all operating online these days,” said Dive Pirates President and Co-Founder Sophie Wimberley. “We hope everyone interested will dial in and learn more about us and help us support these men and women who’ve had life-altering events and deserve to still experience that sense of self-worth, accomplishment and inclusiveness diving offers.”

The Dive Pirates, through AmFund, is offering a Golden Ticket Raffle where the winner gets to choose one of three trips offered; Key West, Bodega Bay or Sedona. Only 100 tickets will be sold and they are $100 each, on sale now.  Everyone who registers for the online event is automatically entered into a Yeti Pirate Adventure Package. The winner must be online and actively involved in the live stream event to claim the prize.

“With our online event, you will have a front row seat with our keynote speaker, Retired Specialist Steve Baskis, who was blinded by an IED while serving in Iraq. His story is amazing, his resolve and motivation a true inspiration,” continued Wimberley.

Registration is easy, click here for details.  The Dive Pirates Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, positively impacts the lives of its recipients; injured military, first responders, law enforcement and others with mobile disabilities, by welcoming them into adaptive scuba diving which fosters accomplishment, self-worth and community. The Foundation trains, equips and conducts dive trips year-round to calm, warm-water locations for the safety of those with spinal cord injuries, networking with facilities willing to empower all participants with compassion and adaptation for a positive experience diving, team building and networking. For more information go to www.divepirates.org.

Contact: Theresa Cortez – Director of Communications
Dive Pirates Foundation
Phone: 77-393-3483 ext. 4
www.divepirates.org

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Beneath The Sea 2021 Cancelled

Posted in Press Release, Shows & Events | 1 Comment

Why We Use Dive Travel Wholesalers

Why it’s Better To Use A Dive Travel Wholesaler For Your Group Bookings.
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

Arranging dive travel for individuals or groups has changed dramatically in the past year.  The covid-19 pandemic decimated the travel industry which is the number one revenue generator of the recreational scuba diving industry.   People learn to dive and buy diving equipment so they can travel to exotic dive destinations and enjoy scuba diving.  It only takes one or two dive trips to get hooked on the concept of diving beautiful and unique dive destinations around the world.  So without dive travel generating the desire and need to dive, I’m afraid the sale of diving equipment, training, and travel will suffer in the next 2-3 years without some pretty serious considerations and necessary paradigm shifts.  To combat our current challenges with dive travel, let’s look at how today’s Dive Travel Specialist books individual or group trips, compared to how they did it before the pandemic.

Becoming a Dive Travel Specialist is a natural extension for individuals who are active Dive Industry Professionals and know a lot of people who are interested in diving and dive travel.  They build a large, inner “circle of influence” by teaching diving, working in a dive store or dive operation, belonging to a club, or becoming extremely recognizable in their local diving community for their dives, photos, videos or seminars.  We call them Opinion Leaders or Diving Influencers.  For them, putting together a group of 10 people or more is an easy task.  But like making the transition from active Diver to Instructor, there is a lot to learn about making the transition from active Diver to Dive Travel Specialist.

A Dive Travel Specialist, first of all, needs to be a people person.  They have to be the type of person that other divers want to be with on a vacation.  Secondly, they need to understand the various options in the dive travel market.  Do they prefer Dive Resorts that have their own Dive Operation?  How about Resorts and Hotels that contract with local Dive Operators?  Maybe Liveaboards are more to their taste?  Either way, with just these three options there are over 1,000 Dive Destinations in our database that we are familiar with.  If you are the person putting together a trip, how do you get the scoop on which resort or liveaboard is best for you and your group?  I hope you’re not going to say that you read about them online or in a magazine article (that was really a paid advertisement).  I hope you are choosing your dive destination because of a personal relationship you have with the owners and/or managers of the destination, based on their good history and reputation.

Once you choose your dive destination, you have to be skilled at getting there.  Planes, Trains, Boats and Automobiles.  Most of the time we choose airfare.  How are airline reservations working out for you now?  Getting a group of 10 or more to a distant destination from a multitude of departure points, using different airlines, is equivalent to herding cats.  And now with covid testing requirements within 72 hours before leaving home and before departing the destination, it makes it even more complicated.

The last thing a group leader has to worry about is what do you and your group do during your vacation?  Dive, Dive, Dive?  Or do you mix in some relaxing, sight seeing, dinners away from the resort, and shopping.  Whatever your group is into, I hope you do your research on the destination and know what is available.

There is so much to learn about running a trip and having the up-to-date information on each destination you visit.  There is no logical reason why a person would want to run a trip all by themselves.  And now that we have so much uncertainty and risk involved with travel, thanks to the ongoing pandemic challenges, Group Leaders are turning to Dive Travel Wholesalers.

LINKS

People are still traveling during this pandemic.  Granted, it’s difficult to plan and you have to be flexible with last minute changes, but if you understand the market and keep current with local, national and global pandemic restrictions, it can be done.  Of course, making it your full time job to understand the entire scope of current dive travel will never be worth your time and effort if you are just running a few trips in a year’s time.  Thank God there is an easy solution.  Use a Professional Dive Travel Wholesaler.

There are so many reason to use Dive Travel Wholesalers when you are leading a group of 10 or more divers and you want a seamless vacation without any hiccups.  Believe me, if you have a multitude of problems on your first trip, no one is going to want to travel with you anymore or return to the resort you selected.  In order to run a successful group trip, regardless of your travel experience, you need to partner with dive industry professionals who have done dive travel before and learned along the way.

We asked six experienced Dive Travel Wholesaler Professionals to tell us the most important reasons why divers and group leaders should use a Dive Travel Wholesaler to help plan their trips.  We were also curious to know what the specific wholesalers did for their customers that was unique.  There was a common theme among our six wholesalers.  All of them commented that knowledge, experience, industry contacts and long-term relationship building were key elements that were common to all successful Dive Travel Wholesalers.  All of our wholesalers have years of travel education and continuing education behind them.  They know their profession and they know the travel industry.  These wholesalers each have 20-40 years experience in the dive travel business.  You tend to learn a lot and pick up a few tricks along the way in that many years.  Through personal contact, trade shows, travel shows, familiarization trips and business meetings, these Dive Travel Specialists know who the Airlines, Resort Destinations, Liveaboards and Dive Operators are.  By actually visiting their contacts, they also know who the good ones are!  By maintaining ongoing business relationships with these travel providers over the years, our Dive Travel Wholesalers have direct, first hand knowledge with the people you are about to do business with.  Maybe for your first time too.

We spoke with Steve Weaver, President of Dream Weaver Travel in Boulder, Colorado.  Not only is Steve a successful Dive Travel Wholesaler, he is a life-long dive store owner himself.   Steve relates well with his dive store customers because he has walked the walk, and talked the talk.  As a dive store owner who became a Dive Travel Wholesaler, he knows what his customers are looking for.  According to Steve, his highly experienced team of travel professionals have the expertise needed to help dive stores conduct a successful group trip.  They also have the marketing know-how their clients rely on them for.  Dream Weaver Travel prides itself on working with their retail clients on pricing issues, marketing the trip, pre-trip documentation and branding the trip thru the client store and not his travel company.  “Our goal is to make the dive store look good!”  Steve’s team has over 38 years of dive travel experience.  They can answer any questions about a destination, from the currency they use to what kind of electrical outlets they have.  They have been to each destination they represent and have personal relationships with the resort owners and operators.  When you arrive at your destination, having booked through Dream Weaver Travel, you are considered more as a friend than a customer.

Petra Hermes, President of Fly & Sea Dive Adventures, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada shared her year’s of experience in dive travel with a very detailed response.  Petra gave us a few pointers:  1) “Why should people use a travel wholesaler?  a) We are advocates for our clients with airlines, tour operators, resorts and liveaboards – before the trip, during the trip and after the trip.  b) We are a one-stop shop, from airfare (group air or everyone coming from a different gateway) to enroute hotels, insurance to dive operators, resorts, liveaboard and possible sightseeing add-ons.  c) Experience – this is what we do all day long, and have been doing for over 20 years.  d) Connections – we have great relationships with the vendors we represent.  2) What is one thing we do for our clients?  a) Detailed digital itineraries that include the latest travel updates and requirements. b) We also offer to do all the booking management, including payments from the individuals and collecting all their details.  c) We schedule, un-schedule, re-schedule, un-schedule, re-schedule… all your travel details as necessary.

We spoke with Olivia Rapisand, Operations Manager for Kids Sea Camp and Family Dive Adventures, Columbia SC and she was spot on with her reasons for using a Dive Travel Wholesaler.  Olivia says that Dive Travel Wholesalers keep up to date with health and travel regulations.  They maintain professional relationships with resorts, liveaboards and dive operators.  They are versed and updated on new travel protocols and new ways of traveling.  They excel at building  relationships and have the experience (in her company’s case, 30 years) to back them up.

Tom Peyton, Vice President of Family Dive Adventures, Columbia, SC followed up with a detailed answer as to why a group leader would use a Dive Travel Wholesaler.  Tom wrote, “One of the main reasons to use a travel wholesaler is the boots on the ground nature of a true travel expert.  The questions every client should ask before using a wholesaler are: 1) Will the wholesaler have a company representative be on the island with us?  2) Have you been to the destination you are selling?  3) How long have you been working with the resort?  4) Do you know the Owner, General Manager or the dive shop?

Tom and his company believe group leaders should be able to rely on the expertise of the group travel wholesaler to solve daily problems with the resort or dive shop from start to finish.  As a corporation, his company does not sell anything they have not experienced.  Their connections have many benefits for their clients.  Because of their strong B2B relationships with their Resorts, Liveaboards and Dive Operators, Family Dive Adventures Clients are going to be treated better and enjoy an excellent long-term quality client experience during the entire booking process and the actual adventure.  In the end, relationships matter.  From the client to the wholesaler.  From the wholesaler to the resort.  It really is as simple as that.

We spoke with Debbie Helms, President of Roatan Charter, in San Antonio, Florida.  Roatan Charter has the knowledge, experience, and the connections to tailor the vacation that is perfect for you.  For over 30 years, Debbie has arranged dive trips for individuals and groups to destinations in Roatan & Honduras, the Caribbean & Mexico, Central America, and throughout Asia, Indonesia, and the South Pacific.  Your Roatan Charter Travel Adviser is there to make all the right things happen.

Debbie and her staff at Roatan Charter are in high demand because of her knowledge and experience in the travel industry and her relentless, detailed service before the trip, during the trip and immediately afterward.  Roatan Charter teaches their Retail Group Organizers how to create a long-term travel plan to minimize travel costs and maximize excellent travel results for you and your group.  Debbie is always keeping abreast of covid testing and  vaccination protocols and requirements.  She is a master at air carrier knowledge and the current ins and outs of air travel reservations.  Speaking from personal experience, I can say that Debbie is a Wizard at re-booking trips and obtaining refunds for her clients.  Debbie is the type of person you can call at 5 am when your return flight home is cancelled and you are on the other side of the planet.

Teresa Cabading, President of Scuba Travel Ventures near San Diego, California summed it all up very well.  Teresa quoted,  “Why book with a wholesaler?  Vacation planning is fun, but most people find that booking flights, arranging transportation, and scheduling excursions can be very stressful and tedious, especially when you’re going abroad. We can handle all those little details for you so your whole trip is leisurely, from planning to execution.  You can spend 20 hours doing research on your own, or you can spend 20 minutes chatting with us, at no additional cost.”

For more information on becoming a Dive Travel Specialist or Group Travel Leader, contact Gene Muchanski at Dive Industry Association.  Phone: 321-914-3778.  email: gene@diveindustry.net

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Use a Dive Travel Wholesaler to Help Plan Your Group Trip

LINKS

 

 

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Editorial – January 2021

Promote Your Members – Create a Directory – by Gene Muchanski Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

Welcome to the New Year.   Although none of us can predict how this year will unfold, I think it’s safe to say that it probably will not be as bad as last year.  But you never know. During the pandemic lockdowns of 2020, many of us in the diving industry kept busy by doing some house cleaning.  Old books, old papers, old files, that sort of thing.  I came across a few old directories of scuba instructors  published by NAUI, LA County, Women’s Scuba Association, and of course, the Dive Industry Association.  I started to think about why there are so few if any directories still published.  If you are a dues paying member of an association or organization, perhaps you should be wondering too.  Are they hiding your contact information or just not supporting you?

A member driven association or organization is supposed to be in the business of promoting their members to the buying public so the member can sell more products or services and increase their revenue.  If your organization isn’t increasing your revenue and merely selling you stuff, why do you belong to them and pay annual dues?  It seems to me that many organizations do their best to hide your contact information so their competitors won’t be able to “steal their customers” away from them.  In fact, some organizations just want to keep their dues paying members to themselves so only they can sell them more products.  How in God’s name is that bringing you more business?

This year, hundreds of dive businesses will go out of business.  The market has shrunk and the competition for reaching paying customers is increasing.  Not only are Dive Industry Professionals getting smarter about reaching potential customers, they are getting smarter about paying dues to organizations that don’t do things that increase their revenue.

The Dive Industry Association publishes its Member Directory for a number of reasons.  1) It lets the worldwide diving community know who the sellers of equipment, training, travel and lifestyle products are.  2) It shows our community which diving companies support our Global Diving Network and the local diving communities they serve. 3) It is a central sources of dive businesses that are currently in business, complete with their continually verified contact information.  4)  It creates a marketplace where Buyers & Sellers can meet to do business.  Our Mission as a Trade Association is to help bring you more business that puts money in your pocket, not take it out.

I’ve had a number of discussions with dive industry professionals this year about directories and their purpose.  Most agree that our Trade Directory is a great idea.  We list our Members by industry or category and we list our travel members by category or country.  We have a cross reference directory that lists our members by the products or services they sell.  These are two directories that we can send to Divers all over the world, using our digital capability.  We are even putting our directory back up on its website for the worldwide diving community to see and use.

I believe that directories are useful to both buyers and sellers.  If you are in business to sell your products or services, you want people to know who you are and how to contact you.  I agree that not everyone wants to be listed in a directory.  I don’t want to be listed in the NAUI Member locator page of their website, because I am a Sustaining Lifetime Member and no longer teach scuba diving.  But if I were an active Instructor looking for students, I would want to be easily located and contacted.  The same thing goes for donors and sponsors.  Some may want to be listed, some may not.  Give them the option.

A few colleagues of mine have suggested that some member directories are not publicly available because the organizations have a practice of selling their member list.  And who would pay for a listing if it’s available to the public for free?  Good point.  You have to remember that a list of unknowns is almost worthless.  It’s the relationship behind the name that’s important.  A good reason to create a list is to let people know who you serve, and who is worthy of your service. 

So here are a few of our suggestions based on some input from the industry.  Don’t think of a Member Directory as a listing of your Members.  Think of it as a Buyers Guide that can be used by the buying public to acquire dive equipment, training, travel, and lifestyle products.  Think of it as a guide to bring your Members more business.  The more of your products they sell, the more of your products they will have to buy from you.  Isn’t that what we all want?  As far as Dealer Locators on websites are concerned, different types of businesses require different formats.  Dive Stores may be well served if listed by zip code.  People rarely travel more than 25 miles to take lessons or get their tanks filled.  Dive Boat Operators may attract divers from hundred of miles away, if not more.  People plan their boat trips based on where they want to dive, not where they live.  Manufacturers have a national appeal.  If you are looking for a Sales Rep, you need one that serves your state but may not live in it.  Travel destinations command global promotion.  If you want divers to dive the Maldives with you, you have to find a way to get your contact information to divers from all over the world.

What contact information should you include in a directory?  Business name, city, state, country, phone number and website url.  A contact name would be very helpful.  I would avoid street addresses and email addresses.  That information is only useful to people who are interested in list farming.  Besides, complete contact information is usually listed on everyone’s website under “contact us.”  The point is to create a list that is easily used and easy to update.  It’s to help potential buyers find products and services from available sellers.  In your case, the sellers should be your members and/or partners.

Is your business listed in our Directory?  It should be.  Contact Gene Muchanski at gene@diveindustry.net or call 321-914-3778 for more details.

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Editorial – December 2020

Adding “LifeStyle” To The Mix –
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

Dive Industry Association has been reorganizing the International Diving Community into Local Diving Communities for the past four years to establish industry norms and create a pathway for dive industry professionals who want to start, grow and succeed in their watersports businesses.  Working regionally with Dive Industry Professionals is a much better way to meet the needs of local diving businesses and return the industry emphasis to smaller, targeted geographical areas.  I believe this paradigm shift from national corporate marketing to local small business support will be the key to restarting this recreation in a very positive way. A re-birth of our recreation, so to speak.

As I said, we have been reconstructing the way we look at the diving community and have been sharing our written plan, as we develop it, with Dive Industry Professionals in the Global Diving Community.  It is refreshing to see a plan come together as we write it down for public scrutiny, although we do take criticism from time to time for incomplete information and questionable data.  But here is the real exciting thing that has been happening.  Dive Industry Professionals are starting to come out of the woodwork to help us iron out our concepts and tweak our imperfect data.  The result is that our vision of the future diving industry is getting clearer and clearer all the time.  Another benefit of laying out our research for the industry to see is that we are seeing holes in the current business paradigm.  Let me tell you about a very important concept we overlooked.

For the past twenty years our Goal has been to Build a Better IndustryOur Mission has been to bring Buyer & Sellers together for mutual benefit.  Our efforts have been to  Focus on the sales of Diving Equipment, Training and Travel and our Message to the public has been 1) Learn to Dive  2) Buy Your Gear  3) Go Diving  4) Stay Active.

Looking at our new presentations in light of the COVID-19 experience, something seemed to be missing.  Our Goal and Mission was spot on but something in our focus and message didn’t synch.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The one focus point we forgot to include was the sales of LifeStyle Products.  Of course.  This has always been the strong point of the Surfing Industry, the Boating Industry, the Fishing Industry, the Apparel Industry, and also every recreational industry except scuba diving.

There are three factors we have to keep in mind about adding the focus of selling Lifestyle products in the diving market.  1) Selling Lifestyle products can eventually exceed the total revenue of diving equipment, training and travel.  2) Selling Lifestyle products is perfect for keeping your business alive during the pandemic.  People are not diving as much, they are not taking a lot of classes and few are traveling.  But consumers are still buying jewelry, apparel, marine art, and everything that reminds them that they are Divers, Ocean Ambassadors, and Guardians of the Environment.  And as an added bonus, it’s the Holiday Shopping Season now!

Selling Lifestyle is big business in the Surfing Industry.  Bathing suits, apparel, beach products, health products, books, magazines, etc.  Same thing with the Fishing and Boating Industries.  Once you buy a boat, do you really think your purchasing has ended?  Not hardly.  It’s just beginning.   This could be Scuba Diving’s big shot in the arm.  
At a time when we needed it the most.

So our Industry Paradigm has shifted.  Our Goal is still to Build a Better Industry.  Our Mission is still to bring Buyers & Sellers together.  Our Message to the public is still learn to dive, buy your gear, go diving and stay active.  But now our Business Advice to Dive Industry Professionals is to Focus on the sales of Diving Equipment, Training, Travel and Lifestyle products.  

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

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DIA Members To Exhibit at DEMA Show 2020

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the Virtual DEMA Show Online, November 17-20, 2020 .  Make it a point to visit our DIA Members for Great Show Specials.

Manufacturers

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Non-Profits

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