Going PADI – A Real Business Partner

Switching training organizations is rarely an easy decision, but when a business becomes a PADI® Dive Center or Resort, the results can be truly outstanding. Last year, more dive centers and resorts joined PADI than ever before.  A case in point is Mare Nostrum Diving, in Sicily, Italy, that chose to go PADI in 2016 and has since become a thriving PADI Retail and Resort Association member. Although having a degree of success operating dive excursions, Mare Nostrum Diving’s management wanted to take their business to the next level with PADI.

Mare Nostrum Diving Center

For years, Mare Nostrum hadn’t been inclined to work with PADI for various reasons, feeling that their dive agency of choice was enough to satisfy their local Sicilian dive market. However, after discussions with PADI Regional Manager, Fabio Figurella, about long term goals within the Italian market and the opportunities ahead for Mare Nostrum Diving, the decision was made to crossover to PADI.

Tatiana Geloso, co-owner of Mare Nostrum Diving explains the role Fabio played, “His job didn’t end when he got us back on the PADI boat – on the contrary – it was just the start of several phone calls, meetings, projects, cooperation in order to increase local business for reciprocal interests.”

Despite being a PADI Divemaster for over 20 years, Tatiana had always delivered courses and training from other agencies. When she crossed over to PADI, she also became a PADI Instructor. Any concerns she may have had before getting back on board with PADI were quickly laid to rest, “What we feel now is having a real partner of our business, and behind the customer services we feel real people, we know their names, we can get the chance to dive together! I believe the services are as efficient as the used-to-be Swiss style (we had connections to Hettlingen for several years!) But now we have “warm” people to talk to as well (and couldn’t be warmer without 2 women from South Italy based in Bristol!) Emails sound personal but professional at the same time. Assistance is based on understanding of your needs and not just giving out information.” Says Tatiana.

“Top-flight customer service is an essential element of the PADI Member experience,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “Life in a PADI Dive Center is often hectic, so quick and efficient service is imperative to allow dive center staff to deliver the same to their customers. That’s why PADI Regional Headquarters puts so much emphasis on exceptional customer service for members.”

Life with PADI compared to life without PADI is seen as a “revelation” by Mare Nostrum Diving. PADI’s brand image is extremely powerful and globally recognised as the leading agency in scuba education. With this in mind, Mare Nostrum Diving didn’t feel like a cog in a machine, they felt like they had a real partner, “a partner to cooperate with, where both sides find its own convenience in the partnership.”


Since joining PADI, Mare Nostrum Diving have closely followed the PADI social networks in both English and Italian for inspiration from articles, suggestions, marketing tips and how they can apply them to their circumstances. “I appreciate the fact that as a member I don’t only get advice on standards in training, but also on how to promote my business.” Says Tatiana.

PADI Regional Training Consultants, Customer Services, Regional Manager and Marketing Team are always at hand to offer insights and advice wherever it is needed. A PADI Dive Resort may simply need a push in the right direction with regards to their social marketing strategy, a detailed analysis of pricing strategy, or perhaps a Five Star Dive Center may need assistance with a full store overhaul and website consultation.

Drew Richardson says, “The PADI System of diver education brings student divers through the doors of PADI Dive Centers every day around the world. PADI’s proven marketing strategies and innovative marketing tools, such as a free annual marketing tool kit, also bring in customers.”

Being part of the PADI family puts Mare Nostrum Diving on the map. There is no denying that Tatiana is a very highly regarded Italian Federal Instructor with a local following, but now with PADI on her side, Tatiana and Mare Nostrum can be instantly recognised by any potential customer looking to dive with the trusted PADI name.

Be Best. Be PADI.℠ The Way the World Learns to Dive™

Grow your business. Take the plunge and become a PADI Dive Center

Have you have been teaching independently for a while and pondering what might be your next step in developing your diving career? How about registering as a PADI Dive Centre?

As a member of the PADI Retailer and Resort Association you benefit from more than just the prestige of the PADI brand. You will be able to take advantage of a comprehensive suite of benefits guaranteed to drive more divers through your doors.

What benefits will you receive as a PADI Dive Centre or Resort?

  • High visibility via our PADI Dive Shop Locator
  • Store visits and business consultation: meet your PADI Regional Manager and receive individual and comprehensive support to grow your dive business
  • Regional Consulting Team: Sales and Training consultants dedicated to supporting your business
  • Exclusive sales offers
  • Extended business training with our PADI Business Academy and through our dedicated PADI Regional Managers providing you with the latest in the business of diving
  • Marketing support at your fingertips through the PADI Pros Site with marketing toolkits, email templates, a range of high resolution images and much more
  • Access to worldwide and regional events, such as Women’s Dive Day, giving you more exposure through our dedicated Event Locator, as well as event associated, exclusive dive centre merchandise

These are just a few reasons why in 2016 more dive centres and resorts joined the PADI Retailer and Resort Association (RRA) than ever before, and why RRA membership now exceeds 6400 members globally.

So take the plunge and become a PADI Dive Centre and be a part of unparalleled training standards, superior customer service and in-depth business support today!

If you have questions about becoming a PADI Retailer and Resort Association Member, please contact us at customerservices.emea@padi.com



September Winner for PADI Member Recognition: Orangeshark Diving Centres

Every day – from around the world – divers send PADI a steady stream of correspondence complimenting PADI Dive Centers and Resorts for outstanding customer service.

Each month, the PADI Member Recognition Committee reviews these submissions and selects one PADI Dive Center or Resort Member to be recognized as a global winner, an achievement which also features on the home page of the PADI Pros’ Site.

PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa is proud to announce that Orangeshark Diving Centres (S-22593, Malta) were selected as the Diver Education Center of the Month for September.

Their achievement follows a nomination by customer Andrew Rafferty:

I would like you to record my formal congratulations for the centre manager Steve Watkinson and Instructor Oliver Weissensteiner for the way in which they delivered the Scuba Diver course at the Orangeshark resort at Golden Sands, Malta.

As a headteacher I was impressed with the way in which the team balanced the elements of learning new skills, enjoyment, and ensuring the health and safety of the participants, which in this case meant meeting the expectations of my 16 yearold stepson and me, some 40 years older.

I also appreciated the communication between team members. After each dive and returning to centre it was obvious that the centre manager, Steve, had already been briefed by his instructor and had made decisions about how the next part of the course should run.

Our Instructor, Oliver, I feel, should be commended for his attention to detail and his thoroughness at every point in the course.  He is obviously a skilled diver, but a patient teacher too.  On a related note, the trainee Alex who accompanied us was also very supportive.

Their combined skills made our first diving experience memorable. Indeed we were so impressed with Steve and Oliver that we intend to return to Malta to further our skills and attain Open Water Diver standard.

Congratulations to Orangeshark Diving Centres for this exceptional achievement and for their professionalism and dedication to diver training and customer satisfaction!

Want to nomination someone for a future award? If you have experienced outstanding service, or have received praise from a customer and would like to nominate a PADI Member for the PADI Member Recognition awards, please send your nominations to prra.emea@padi.com.

Win with PADI: The PADI Value Proposition

PADI is committed to the growth and prosperity of the scuba diving industry. Whether it’s through preserving the ocean we explore or creating innovative ways to teach the sport, PADI’s main focus is its members. PADI develops, maintains and supplies our industry with the most advanced dive training materials found worldwide.Specifically, the PADI Retailer and Resort Associations provides PADI Members with techniques and solutions to staying competitive and successful in today’s marketplace.

As a member of the PADI Retailer and Resort Associations you benefit from more than just the prestige of the PADI brand. You also get a comprehensive suite of benefits guaranteed to drive more divers through your doors.

PADI Value PropositionTogether we’re #1 in diving!

PADI Five Star Membership – Additional Business Benefits

All members of the PADI Retailer and Resort Associations enjoy a wide range of business benefits, however Five Star members, as true PADI specialists and committed supporters of the PADI brand, have a range of additional benefits available as befits their particular status and position as PADI ambassadors.

Blog Graphic 02One such benefit is the premium positioning given to Five Star members within all our promotions, including a number of special promotions which have been created over the last couple of years to take advantage of dedicated, promotion-specific searchable maps. We have also been active in gearing promotions specifically aligned with premium dive shows, boat shows and other similar events; these promotions have been particularly effective, as they add an element of “instant win” and are usually supported by additional collateral, prize draws and other engagement tools, all specifically geared to drive immediate enquiry and participation during the event.

New and existing divers have been attracted to these promotions due to the ease with which they can find participating PADI members and, since most of these promotions are limited to 100% PADI centres to ensure there is no confusion over the centre’s offerings when people respond to PADI’s extensive mailings and other contacts. In these situations, the Five Star membership positioning becomes even more important, as many divers’ preference for a PADI specialist centre will be met by all participating centres, so the Five Star branding elevates a centre’s profile and asks an important question in the browser’s mind; “what makes this centre different?”

PADI publishes statements across a wide range of media which can answer that question, and indeed it is one I have enjoyed answering with greater frequency than almost any other regular enquiry over my 20 years serving PADI members.

Even better, though, is when the prospective customer asks you directly; there’s no better opening for you and your staff to explain what equipment, experiences and educational opportunities you offer, and how you can help the enquirer see for themselves why your business is the best.

If you would like more information on the benefits of PADI Five Star membership, and how you can add PADI Five Star membership to your business credentials, contact your local PADI member support office today!