DIVE LOCAL – Chapter 5 – Geographical Breakdown

DSC_0457DIVE LOCAL – A Dive Industry Community Effort
Geographical Breakdown of DIVE LOCAL
By Gene Muchanski, Executive Director,
Dive Industry Foundation


To make the DIVE LOCAL concept work, we have to take into consideration the world’s geographical locations as they pertain to direct access to various bodies of water.  Then we have to consider the comparative population in those areas.  The most important consideration to the international diving community right now is the number of active divers and diving businesses in each geographical territory.  Since the international diving community has never organized a concept like DIVE LOCAL before, anything we do to identify, organize and target the world’s diving population (the international diving community) and diving businesses across the globe (the Global Diving Business Network), the better position we will be in to effect development, growth and prosperity in our recreation.

Mind you, any efforts we make to identify, organize, and target the international diving community, will be subject to change as we evolve.  We are on virgin territory here, and that’s a good thing.  None of us is an expert at this, so we can all consider ourselves to be discovery pioneers.

Principle Guideline:  Before we begin with the work of setting our geographical boundaries and identifying the number of divers and diving businesses around the globe, let me make one ground rule that we will follow.  It doesn’t have to be a rule that everyone agrees with or follows.  It’s just a guideline that the Dive Industry Association will follow.  Our one organizing guideline that we will adhere to, is to start working with divers and diving businesses we identify in the market, immediately.  This is not an academic pursuit for us and we are not interested in building a list of certified divers or licensed diving businesses.  The question we will be focusing on is “How many divers and diving businesses have we identified and started working with so far”, rather than “How many divers or diving businesses are there around the globe?”   This may seem like a confusing point to some people, but if you think about it, shouldn’t we concentrate on identifying as many divers and diving businesses in the international diving community so we can start working with them immediately?  I believe that is more important than just knowing how many there are.  It’s about creating a market for the Global Diving Business Network so that we can focus on bringing buyers and sellers together immediately.  I know that some marketing experts will want to identify the total market and its potential first, so they can calculate their anticipated market share.  I appreciate that concept, but I think we’ll just skip to the part where we identify and start working with Dive Industry Professionals around the world that are looking to do business with the current, participating, global diving business market.

Geographical Breakdown:  In most cases, we attempt to be Geo-Graphical rather than Geo-Political.  When dealing with the International Diving Community, it may be necessary to group different countries together where there is close proximity, rather than which political flag they fly under.  Such is the case with the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico which are United States territories but located in the Caribbean.  There are many other similar cases all across the water planet.  When it comes to planning DIVE LOCAL shows & events, I believe that catering to divers and diving businesses in close proximity is a better option, barring any political or territorial conflicts.

To keep things simple, we start with Continents and break them down into Country, Region/Territory, State/Provence, County, City, and Neighborhood if necessary.  In the example below, we begin with the seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia/Oceania, and Antarctica.  In the case of North America, we include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.  In the United States (where DIA HQ is located), we segment the mainland states into the Northeast, Mid-America, Southeast, Florida, North Central, South Central, Northwest, and Southwest.  Florida, incidentally, is sometimes separated from the Southeast Territory because it has 17% of the Retail Dive Centers, most of the Dive Boat Operators, and accounts for an estimated 25% of the diving industry’s annual sales volume.  As we mentioned before, because we have U.S. Territories, we include the Caribbean for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  For Hawaii, Guam, and American Samoa, we include them with the South Pacific.  In the example below, we have taken our geographical breakdown to the state level.  When a state has a significant number of divers or diving businesses and becomes difficult to manage, it may be prudent to further breakdown the state into Counties, Cities and Neighborhoods.  The ultimate goal is to create a Local Diving Community that has a sufficient number of divers and diving businesses to create local diving events that brings our diving communities together and produces more activity and growth.


  1. North America
  2. South America
  3. Europe
  4. Asia
  5. Africa
  6. Australia & Oceania
  7. Antarctica

Continent – North America

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Central America
  • Bahama Islands
  • Caribbean Islands

Country / Region / State – United States

  • Northeast – CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT
  • Mid-Atlantic – DC, DE, KY, MD, NC, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV
  • Southeast – AL, GA, MS, SC
  • Florida – FL
  • Caribbean – PR, USVI
  • North Central – IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI
  • South Central – AR, LA, OK, TX
  • Northwest – AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY
  • Southwest – AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT
  • South Pacific – GU, HI


The complete global geographical breakdown is listed in our white paper publication, DIVE LOCAL – A Diving Community Cooperative Effort, which is continually analyzed, refined, and upgraded.

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About Gene Muchanski

Executive Director at Dive Industry Association. Board Member at Dive Industry Foundation. Marketing Consultant to the Diving Industry. I have been a certified Scuba Diver since I was 15 years old and have been a passionate waterman for as long as I can remember.
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