PADI Digital Core Courses Expand Reach

With more languages added to Open Water Diver and Freediver™ courses, and the PADI eLearning® experience becoming even more fluid, PADI® strengthens its claim as the leader in diver training.

Scuba diving is a sport/hobby/obsession that bridges borders and cultures, bringing people around the world together to enjoy the underwater environment. But people around the world have different needs and, more importantly, speak different languages.  PADI accounts for this when creating its eLearning products.

The PADI organization is making it easier for PADI Divers to access learning materials, with a digital suite of core courses that are easy to purchase, download and use. Now, these materials are offered in more languages than ever before too – further demonstrating that PADI truly is the way the world learns to dive.

Now, additional languages will be available for Open Water Diver and the popular Freediver courses (with more languages in more courses to come).

  • PADI Open Water Diver – Open Water Diver now available in seven new languages: Czech, Croatian, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Russian and Turkish.
  • PADI Freediver – Along with the existing English, the popular Freediver program is now available in 10 additional languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, with Korean, Thai, and Russian soon to follow.

The PADI Library app will reflect these changes. If divers have automatic updates turned on in their device settings, the app will update automatically.  If not, they will need to make sure they update their app.

PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, be sure to update your eLearning preferences in your account to reflect the courses and languages you support.

Keep an eye out as more updates to the eLearning experience are coming soon.

UAE Royal Family chooses PADI Life Guard course to train its staff!

Elias T. Hajjar – Water Sports supervisor – together with Esmail Bahadour Sachi – Diving supervisor – both under Royal Marine affairs Department  – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Office – recently completed PADI Pool and PADI Beach Life guard course with PADI Course Director Mahmoud Elaskary – General Manager at Bel Remaitha Club:

The purpose of the PADI Pool lifeguard Specialty Course and PADI Beach lifeguard Specialty Course is to teach students the skills needed to help recognize prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until Emergency Medical Services personnel take over.

This includes on-land and in-water rescue skills along with the essential CPR and First aid skills to ensure people employed as lifeguards at swimming pools and /or beach front can work individually and as team members and undertake their duties in a professional and customer focused manner, thus ensuring the safety of users.

Congratulations Elias and Esmail …and many thanks Mahmoud: keep up the good work!

Ribbon Eels – the stars of Nakolhu Giri

Scuba diving in the Maldives brings with it the chance to see many ‘must-see’ creatures such as manta rays, sharks and turtles as well as huge shoals of tropical fish congregating on the reefs. All of these things are hard to miss and there is a whole lot more to see when you start diving very slowly and really looking at the reef, the critters that can be found can be just as mesmerising and special as the big stuff…

One such critter is the ribbon eel, also known as a ghost moray, Rhinomuraena quaesita, it is widespread in Indo-Pacific but not so common in the Maldives so finding one is a real treat. Divers in the Lhaviyani Atoll are in the fortunate position of being able to have a go a finding them on Nakolhu Giri where sightings have been occurring for many years.

Known to inhabit the same spot, once found the ribbon eels are easily found again – as long as they are not hiding in their hole at the moment the diver passes by. It pays to be patient and keep very still,just watching the area until it eventually pokes its head and neck out again. Patient observers will be rewarded with the distinctive flattened ribbon eel with its flared, extended nostrils. They reach a length of up to one meter but typically only the head and neck are seen. Their colour is very distinctive and eye-catching; males/juveniles have a black body with a bright yellow dorsal fin. As the ribbon eel matures it slowly turns to the more commonly sighted bright blue colour, also with the yellow dorsal fin and accents around the mouth. It’s not only the colour that changes as the ribbon eel matures, upon reaching a certain size, the body of the male starts to turn yellow and develop female parts until it can eventually lay eggs, making them sequential hermaphrodites. These completely yellow females are the rarest ribbon eels to spot.

For a chance to see these fascinating creatures come and dive with Prodivers and visit the beautiful underwater island reef of Nakolhu Giri.

Professional PADI Clothing

When conducting a Professional Level PADI Course it is paramount to include as much information as possible.  It is also a nice addition to be able to present your candidates with a congratulatory gift once they have completed their course.

We can all remember how proud we were when we became a PADI Divemaster or PADI Instructor and to wear this as a badge of honour feels great!

You can give your Divemaster and Instructor Candidates this opportunity by packaging a piece of clothing together with their course.

Or perhaps you would like to have these for yourself or your team to easily differentiate from students when at dive sites or the pool.  Also giving you and your team the chance to wear that badge again!

The PADI Instructor Hoodies come in Small, Medium and Large.  They are cosy and warm, perfect to throw on after a dive!

The Women’s PADI Divemaster T-Shirts come in S, M, L, XL and XXL.  There are also a very limited number of Men’s XL PADI Divemaster T-Shirts.

These are all only available while stocks last, so don’t waste time and get your orders in soon!

If you would like to place an order you can find them on the Online Shop, or send your order through to Emma Hewitt – emma.hewitt@padi.com, Matt Clements – matt.clements@padi.com, Emily Petley-Jones – emily.petley-jones@padi.com or Jason Socket – jason.sockett@padi.com

Are Our Efforts in the Maldives to Reduce Plastic Waste Really Worth It?

We are overwhelmed with the fantastic response from businesses and like minded travellers looking at ways to improve sustainability through sustainable initiatives like banning single use plastic straws in the Maldives and around the world. Everyone is discussing what we will lose if we don’t take action now, but what will we gain? Is there really any benefit to this massive international surge of environmental awareness and initiatives? We discuss here some exciting things we will gain from all our efforts:

Creating Employment

Once people get into the habit of bringing reusable bags when they are shopping people will seek more durable bags so they last longer, thus creating new job opportunities for manufacturing durable sustainable shopping bags, thus creating employment! In Male Maldives Authentic Crafts Cooperative Society (MACCS) an advocate for alternatives to single use plastic bags in the Maldives are producing bags for life and working with corner stores, supermarkets and households to reduce the usage of single use plastic bags.

Saving Energy with a More Efficient Production Process

To produce nine plastic bags it takes the equivalent energy of driving a car 1km. Considering the typical life span of a plastic bag is about 12 minutes of use, this is a very inefficient use of time, energy and products. Creating sustainable, reusable bags makes more sense and uses far less energy.

Happy Marine Life!

There is an estimated 46,000 to 1,000,000 plastic fragments floating within every square mile of the world’s ocean. Often they are mistaken for food by animals, birds, and marine life like fish and sea turtles. The consumed plastic then congests the digestive tracts of these animals, and can lead to health issues such as infections and even death by suffocation. By us all working together to reduce this waste, marine life, birds and other animals won’t have to suffer these terrible infections or slow painful deaths from excessive plastic waste. Meaning they will have a safer, happier environment to live in and both guests as well as those who live in the Maldives can continue to enjoy our marine life bio diversity.

Healthy Humans

Plastic fragments in the ocean can absorb pollutants like PCBs and PAHs, which are known to be hormone-disrupting chemicals. These chemicals can be consumed and make their way through the ocean’s food chain which then pass into humans who eat fish and other marine organisms.Given that tuna forms part of the staple diet of Maldivians and that the fishing industry is also a key exporter of fish products, less pollutant means healthier humans!

Money Saved on Clean Up Can Be Used For Other Things

A lot of time, money and selfless effort from individuals and groups are contributed to the efforts of ocean and beach clean ups. Image what this money could be spent on if we were no longer fighting the plastic battle. Not to mention the extra time we would all have on our hands! A week doesn’t go by where there is not a beach clean-up organised on at least one island in the Maldives. Let’s estimate that there is 50 people cleaning for 4 hours once a week;our conservative estimate is over 10,500 hours a year being donated for free time by locals and tourists. Together with the expense of rubbish collection bags, gloves and travel.

Saving Money on the Weekly Shopping

Plastic bags cost about 3-5 cents each to produce, and that cost is either incorporated into prices of the items sold at stores or you as the shopper have to pay for the bag, either way you as the consumer are absorbing all the costs of these plastic bags. It is said that the average American shopper will use 500 bags per year, 80% of these are plastic. Image the money you will be saving if stores didn’t need to apply these additional costs into your shopping. More money to save for your vacations to the Maldives!

Some Top Tip on Staying Plastic Free on Your Holiday to the Maldives

Reusable Containers

The popular traditional afternoon snack hedhikaa is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. However take outs are often presented in the blue plastic bags. So by bringing your own reusable container you are refusing a single use plastic bag.

Refuse Plastic Straws

Let’s face it most of us don’t need to use a straw and those that do can use alternatives. So the next time you order a drink or enjoy a local coconut, refuse the plastic straw and tag us online #strawwarMV

Re-useable Water Bottles

So many more places are offering fresh, clean drinking water to re-fill your water bottle. So instead of drinking small bottles of water and throwing them out, re-fill your own water bottle.

Join a Beach Clean Up

We know you are on your holidays when you visit the Maldives but as you will be visiting the local islands why no find out if there is a beach cleanup organised during your stay. We work closely with Save the Beach and The Cleaning Quest, if you let us know before you arrive we can incorporate it into your tour package.

Secret Paradise

Since 2012 Secret Paradise has been at the forefront of the Maldives local island tourism industry, promoting and supporting guesthouses, dive centres and activity operators based on locally inhabited islands throughout the Maldives archipelago.

Welcome to our new 2018 PADI EMEA Course Directors

In July, the second 2018 International Course Director Training Course (CDTC) took place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

During nine intensive days, working with PADI staff from Regional Headquarters, the selected Course Director candidates learn to market and teach PADI’s Instructor level training courses. Upon successful completion, candidates were awarded the esteemed rating of PADI Course Director.

We now welcome our newest PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa Course Directors and wish them much success with their Instructor Development businesses in 2018.

RYAN BURCHELL SOUTH AFRICA
DAVID KENDRICK-WHITE UNITED KINGDOM
SHAM’AA HAMEED REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES
JASON LINBOURNE UNITED KINGDOM
IAN CRADOCK UNITED KINGDOM
AIKATERINI KANELLOPOULOU GREECE
MATTHEW CLEMENTS UNITED KINGDOM
ANDREAS BRUSTMANN AUSTRIA
MARCUS KITCHING-HOWE UNITED KINGDOM
PAMELA HOLT UNITED KINGDOM
JARI FORSMAN MOZAMBIQUE

To learn more about the Course Director Training Course or to apply for selection onto the programme click here

 

PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018 at Freestyle Divers UAE

Successful turnout at Freestyle Divers – in Dibba – to celebrate the 2018 edition of PADI Women’s Dive Day.

More than 30 divers joined Freestyle’s Team diving in different locations of the East Coast, like Dibba Rock and Inchcape, for a total of over 100 dives throughout the day.

Guest Star, PADI Ambassadiver Slava Noor, was active part of the event:  not only by joining the diving trips but also by giving a speech on how she became a diver and her journey to become PADI AmbassaDiver, highlighting how it helped her to become a better and more confident person. Slava took also the opportunity to talk about Ocean pollution and which measures can be taken, as divers, to reduce our footprint.

The day was quite inspiring for some of the participants and, as a result, 5 people joined the PADI Discover Scuba Diving program organized during the day, 6 ladies subscribed for the PADI Open Water Course starting next month, one registration for a PADI Advanced Open Water Course and …the icing on the cake, 4 ladies who decided to pursue the professional career and join October’s PADI Instructor Development Course!

Congratulations Freestyle Divers for the successful event: keep up the good work!

How can PADI Stores use Micro Influencers?

Social media has evolved quickly over the last decade. From humble beginnings to a multi-billion dollar industry, social media has infiltrated most of our daily lives. Businesses know this and subsequently invest millions into their digital and social marketing strategies. There has been a shift in recent times to the rise of the Micro Influencer.

Who are they?

Micro influencers are the connecting bridge between real people and brands. Celebrity endorsements are insanely expensive and out of touch with the end user. As such, brands look to connect with real people through real people. For example, the user scrolling through their Instagram page will have a higher affinity to an experience hungry travel blogger with a few thousand followers compared to a well-established sponsored influencer with millions of followers. Why? The less well-known blogger, or Micro Influencer is more real to us and subsequently more relatable.

Ronaldo (sponsored athlete) vs. Dom (adventure traveller, domonthego.com)

sponsored influencer

micro-influencer

 

What does this mean for a PADI Dive Shop?

You offer adventure. You give people the opportunity to go places others can’t and see things others don’t even know exist. You can sell that all day long – but the consumer knows you’re selling it. You’re using the words you want to use and in the style you want to be perceived. That’s fine. That’s your marketing. However, in a time where social media reigns supreme, a micro influencer talking about you in their language and their style, is a much more powerful marketing asset.

How to get involved?

Option 1:

Wait for an influencer to contact you. If your dive store is in an exotic location and a couple of travelling micro influencers are heading there, you may find they’ll be looking to get a fix of adventure and content. Remember, they need you as much as you need them. They need fresh new content, and your dive store is the perfect backdrop. Requests may come in all shapes and sizes: “can I get my Advanced Open Water Diver course in exchange for some posts on Instagram”, or “for $75 I can advertise your page on my social feeds to a combined audience of 9,000 followers”.

Option 2:

iconosquare

Actively search for influencers. Use Iconosquare to search relevant hashtags for your region, industry and lifestyle. Explore the profiles and find your perfect match. Look for an audience size of up to 10,000 followers. Make sure they fit the SCUBA lifestyle you want to portray. A micro influencer who has actively been promoting something contrary to your business ethos, may end up being detrimental. For example, if the influencer had supported spearfishing in an earlier post, this may backfire when they promote your dive center.

What to ask them?

Ask the micro influencers for page insights. You want to know about their followers, both real and percentage of potential fake followers. Note, fake followers/accounts are bought in order to bump up the numbers.  Expect to learn about the engagement of their posts. A high audience number but a very low percentage of engagement is a potential indication of a fake audience. You want to know where their audience is from. For example, if you want to target the local market but the micro influencers’ main audience comes from a different country, you should avoid them (unless looking at bringing in tourism, of course).

The agreement

What are you prepared to offer in exchange for social media exposure? A Discover Scuba Diver? A PADI Open Water Diver course? A day on the boat? A cash payment? This will depend on what you think marketing is worth. How much would you spend to take an advert out in a local magazine to promote your center? This is the social media equivalent. Manage expectations early on and don’t be afraid to ask for more. Ask for a post on Instagram and Facebook, but with an accompanying mention in a blog post on their website. If they write a blog post about their recent trip to a location titled, “5 amazing things to do in ____” and one of those things is SCUBA diving, make sure they deeplink from their blog post to your website. These are known as backlinks and are SEO gold dust.

If you need more assistance with micro influencers, contact your PADI Regional Manager or the PADI Marketing department.

PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018 Events to Remember

On Saturday, 21 July, PADI® Dive Centers, Resorts and Professional Members hosted more than a 1000 events in 104 countries across the globe for the Fourth Annual PADI Women’s Dive Day. With record-breaking participation, the day brought together thousands of divers of all genders, ages and experience levels.

Here’s a look at some locations that helped make this year extra special.

United Kingdom. British PADI Dive Centers led the way this year when it came to creativity and inclusion for all. Fifth Point Diving dedicated an entire week to underwater photography workshops, snorkel safaris and an impromptu Dive Against Debris, before culminating with the PADI Women’s Dive Day event. Taking inclusion one step further, Vivian Dive Centre combined PADI Women’s Dive Day with their own inaugural event, Scuba Pride. Visitors had the chance to converse with fellow divers, retailers and PADI. Experience a wide range of scuba activities from Discover Scuba Diving to Tec and Sidemount try dives. If visitors weren’t in the water, they were found in the photo booth, getting their faces painted or at the BBQ.

Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. *Allergen alert – this story contains peanuts. Camel Dive Club prides itself on being an ideal choice for solo female divers, so PADI Women’s Dive Day is the perfect back drop for like-minded travellers. On the day itself, Camel Dive Club organised a Dive Against Debris with over 25 participants followed by a special rendition of their weekly Divers’ Night. Among the girl power anthems blasting out from the speakers, the celebrations descended into chaos as the cashews and pistachios went flying in the first ever Women’s Dive Day Peanut Fight.

Sicily, Italy. The crystalline waters of Sicily provided the perfect playground for Sea Spirit to pay homage to their female staff members and divers. Female professionals make up over 50% of the Sea Spirit team, taking on roles such as instructors, management, administration and boat skipper. 24 divers submerged for an incredible dive, all showing their support for the female dive community by wearing pink t-shirts.

Maldives. 50 Maldivian female divers splash down with Moodhu Goyye. The Maldivian dive community on Facebook, created by PADI Course Director Zoona Naseem, hosted the most colourful Maldivian PADI Women’s Dive Day yet. Attracting 50 female certified divers to share their love for scuba diving with non-divers to inspire the ever growing community. 6 PADI Dive Centers came together to make this a truly unforgettable day of diving in the Maldives.

Switzerland. Although landlocked, the diving opportunities appear to be endless. Lake diving in the summer, ice diving in the winter and going with the flow down a river. And it’s in a river we found Valeria Machado hosting a Women’s Dive Day event. The enthusiastic photographer had long dreamt of displaying her photography in the Verzasca River and finally realised that dream on 21st July. With assistance from PADI Members and Dive Centers, the underwater gallery created a stunning spectacle to showcase her images.

South Africa. Pro Dive in Port Elizabeth summed up their PADI Women’s Dive Day perfectly with a few simple words, “sharing what we love – sun, sea, salty hair & ocean hair – mermaids’ life.” Their boat dive followed by lunch helped bring together their female dive community and will inspire friends of friends and family members to try scuba diving.

Turkey. For a country where the dive population was predominately male until the 1990s, it was big news for a woman to get certified – it might even warrant a write-up in the newspaper. Thanks to the introduction of multiple PADI dive operators and instructors to the area, the number of female divers has continue to rise. For this Women’s Dive Day, the participation was impressive with dive events held throughout the country for both divers and non-divers.

United Arab Emirates. Freestyle Divers, based on the coast in Dibba Al-Fujairah, got their divers in the Women’s Dive Day spirit with shore dives, boat dives and Discover Scuba Diving experiences held throughout the day. To keep things interesting, they also hosted an underwater treasure hunt and gifted their divers with PADI grab bags.

There were many other incredible events all around the region and world. You can see more event photos on the PADI Facebook page or search for #PADIWomen on social media.

If you held an event this year, remember to follow up with all your event participants. A simple “thanks for diving with us” message keeps divers engaged and encourages them to continue diving with you. Don’t forget to include a call to action.

Mark your calendars – Next year’s PADI Women’s Dive Day is scheduled for Saturday, 20 July 2019.

Refer a Friend Campaign Tools to Increase Certifications

New tools available in the campaigns folder of the Retailer and Resort Association Marketing Toolbox.

Refer a Friend Tools found here

These tools have been designed to encourage your customers to bring friends and family to your dive store. You may already give incentives to returning customers for referring friends, but is it known to all of your customers?

To fully integrate this campaign, create a landing page on your website with your Refer a Friend special offer. Then incorporate these tools across your website and newsletters pointing to the newly created page:

Print A1 posters for in-store displays and hand out A4  flyers to customers for offline marketing:

The Refer a Friend offer?

Consider the following incentives as potential offers for the Refer a Friend Campaign:

  • Discount for your next dive
  • Discount for your next PADI course
  • Discount on diving equipment
  • Refer 5 friends and get a free dive
  • Refer 5 friends and get a free pair of fins
  • Refer 5 friends and get 50% off your next PADI course

Implement the Refer A Friend campaign across your emails to ensure maximum exposure and awareness amongst your customers. You can add a Call To Action to your current email templates, or use one of the PADI email templates using your Mailchimp login**. Send the email to your students and divers whenever they have completed a course, trip or dive.

** You will need to add your logo and edit the links to point to your dive store’s pages. As default they re-direct to PADI.com pages.

Click Here for Template

 

Discover all the assets available for your integrated Refer a Friend campaign in the RRA Marketing Toolbox today. If you need assistance, contact your PADI Regional Manager or the PADI EMEA Marketing Department.