The seasonality of an industry is mainly determined by the customer (The Buyers). We Industry Professionals (The Sellers) take our recreation’s seasonality curve into consideration when planning our inventory purchases, training schedules, activities calendar, our marketing and advertising expenditures and even our personnel vacations. The variables that go into determining your “Season” are Time of Year, Holidays, School Schedules, Work Schedules, Weather, the Traditional Four Seasons and of course, Tourism Capacity, Prices, Occupancy Rates and Availability. Depending on your location and the type of diving you represent, your “Season” may vary from others in the industry. The greatest variable factor in the seasonality mix is the weather. We cannot control the weather but we can prepare for it and make any necessary contingency plans when it affects us negatively.
The basic season for the average recreational diver, with children, is from Memorial Day through Labor Day. In the United States, that’s May 31 – September 4th. Kids are out of school and the family plans its vacation accordingly. This standard season affects parents with school aged children and Teachers. An important demographic in the diving industry may be Grandparents and Great-Grandparents with school aged children too. Check with your customer base and see if this season applies to them.
The changing weather patterns in the traditional Four Seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall) has dictated the type of diving and the location for the average recreational diver. If it’s too cold in Chicago in January, then maybe a diving vacation in the Caribbean is a tempting alternative. But bad weather can easily be combated by properly outfitting your local divers and thereby extending the diving season or creating a “new season.” I remember looking forward to December diving in Southern California. The water was usually very calm and very clear. I’ve seen many 100+ ft visibility days on my December Catalina Dives off of Ship’s Rock. You just had to prepare for the weather.
Dealing with different seasonality curves can be interesting, challenging, or FUN. It all depends on you and your imagination. Heck, in Florida we have Four Season too. Love Bug Season, Tourist Season, Hurricane Season and Summer! You can either fight it or make it work for you. Your choice.
Well, I have to go and make plans for my new season – Dive Season. We just finished Trade Show Season in April and Hurricane Season and Planning Season are next in line. Might as well go diving.
See you in Long Beach.