Want some tips on how to plan, organize and market the best group trips for your divers? Here’s the first of eight tips to help. Keep an eye out for more here shortly:
Where do your customers want to go? Somewhere far-flung and exotic or closer to home? Are they into marine life or are they more interested in wreck diving?
Distant, exotic destinations may require higher budgets. So, you’ll want to determine if your divers are willing to pay a premium for an unforgettable experience. If not, you may have to consider a closer or more affordable destination.
Keep in mind that the seasons strongly influence dive conditions and marine life sightings, so a suitable destination in June may not be so suitable in September.
You should consider all these questions when choosing your destination to make sure the trip is a good fit and your divers are excited about it.
One of the best ways to determine what your divers are interested in, where they want to go and even how much they’re willing to spend is to ask them. Survey your diver database to make sure you’re putting trips on the calendar that cater to their needs and interests.
Written by Dr. Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO
Take a moment to think about what makes you productive. That is, what enables you to do things that benefit others – whether material, informational, spiritual or all three. Without productivity, success in anything can’t happen: it is, in effect, how we define success (and notice it’s not necessarily money or wealth). Some will tell you that productivity results from organization, luck and talent, but we’ve all seen disorganized, unlucky, ungifted people who produce and succeed extraordinarily. And sadly, sometimes we see the opposite. What’s the key element?
I think the musician Judy Collins put her finger on it. “Do what you love,” she said, “and you will find the way to get it out to the world.” That is, a passion for what you do is the one and only critical ingredient to high productivity. Zero in on what’s really important and productivity skyrockets, not because we do more things but because we do the right things. We stop wasting time on irrelevant (though often urgent) distractions that take us off task because we know where we’re going.
And, we work harder because we want to. Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, wrote, “Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.” Passion turns failures into learning opportunities, delays into new directions and challenges into creativity. If you are truly passionate about something, you don’t have to motivate yourself to be productive with it. You only have to find the ways.
In the PADI® family, there’s no shortage of passion for diving and the underwater world, and for changing the world by sharing both. It’s why we dive and how we share diving combined. PADI’s larger purpose is changing the world for the better. Every person we bring to diving adds to the political leverage and wise consumer choices we need to protect the seas and marine animals. It adds to those healed or who are able to help heal, or both, through the power of scuba. A growing dive industry creates jobs and adds new opportunities to global and local economies. And it all happens because you and I are passionate about diving. It drives us to produce. When we can’t find a way, we make a way.
The point is to nurture and preserve your love for diving, the oceans and those who share this love. It’s the key to being productive as a dive professional. It’s the heart of making the world better with diving. If teaching becomes more about getting students through mask clearing than that gleam in their eyes when they breathe underwater for the first time (believe me, I’ve been there), step back and reconnect. Make that cool dive (trip!) you’ve been putting off. Spend an hour with a buddy listening to whales sing, watching an octopus assemble its “yard” or whatever captures your fascination. Try that new suit, CCR, regulator or computer if tech is your hot button, or chase down that person who you just know will have a burning love for diving and can’t wait to get in the water.
Put first and foremost whatever makes you genuinely passionate about diving, the ocean and sharing them, and you won’t have to worry about how to be productive. You won’t be able to help it.
Whether you use a dry suit, a thick wet suit and/or warm thoughts to stay warm in cool water, it’s important to know how cold is too cold. Diving on a blustery winter morning can be fun, but pushing your body and your exposure protection to their limits can lead to serious consequences. Help your new divers and customers avoid putting themselves in harm’s way with guidance about how to stay comfortable underwater.
Letting one’s core temperature drop too low, leading to hypothermia or a near-hypothermic state, can affect dexterity, decision-making and the body’s ability to offgas. Because one of the first symptoms of serious hypothermia is diminished awareness, many individuals fail to recognize the symptoms until another diver draws attention to them. Know what to look for in yourself and your students to reduce the risk of mild hypothermia escalating into a life-threatening issue.
What is Hypothermia?
Hypothermia is a drop in core body temperature. It can obviously occur in the arctic, but can also happen in warm tropical waters if divers have inadequate exposure protection and a long enough exposure. The condition is of particular concern for people lost at sea and those diving in extreme conditions.
A typical adult maintains a core body temperature of about 37°C/98.6°F. When this core temperature drops below 35°C/95°F, hypothermia begins to set in, and the body’s function begins to be impaired. To keep the vital organs warm, the body will shunt blood to the core. The initial symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, loss of coordination, dizziness, nausea and feelings of hunger. If the core temperature is allowed to continue dropping, at 30°C/86°F many people will stop shivering and their pupils will dilate. At 27.8°C/82°F, muscles become rigid and a serious risk of cardiac complications arises. These symptoms worsen as the core temperature drops, so it’s vital that people suffering from hypothermia are taken to qualified medical care as rapidly as possible.
Learn to Beat the Cold
Hypothermia can be serious, but it’s not something a well-prepared diver should have to contend with in all but the most extreme situations. Plan ahead with appropriate exposure protection, heat sources and a well thought-out emergency action plan if things get a little too chilly. Bring hot water to make a warm drink or warm water to pour into your wet suit between dives to make yourself more comfortable on a day that’s more winter wonderland than diver’s paradise outside. If you or a student begins shivering, terminate the dive in a safe manner and take time to warm up. Consider whether anyone who was shivering will be warm enough for another dive. If not, come back on a warmer day – there’s no sense in putting anyone at risk.
Analyse the competition to your dive business and what are the results? Is it the domestic high street suffering? Is it spending power? Are potential consumers preferring to spend their weekends sat in trendy coffee shops rather than learning to dive?
These may indeed be valid concerns, but your biggest threats they are not. Your largest competition is from the customers themselves. At this point in time, customers are the savviest they’ve ever been. They are careful with how their money is spent and with whom they spend it. Customers need experience, content, validation, reassurance and personalisation. They crave lifestyle improvement. Transactional relationships are a thing of the past to modern consumers – you are both now embraced in an emotional one.
With this in mind, create a “third space” dive store. A place away from home and work where customers are at ease. If your dive store promotes a transactional environment, the customer is presented with two options: buy something or get out. However, the “third space” environment would allow a customer to sit down and chat with a coffee – and a word of warning, people drink more coffee than ever so don’t skimp on the quality of beans! In this environment you can reassure the customer that scuba diving is the embodiment of lifestyle improvement. Through PADI’s Pillars of Change you confirm that scuba diving is an experience-rich investment worth paying for.
Embrace the millennial thought process to ensure domestic success. Consider these two Facebook advert messages for example:
10% off the PADI Open Water Diver course with ABC Diving. Find out more!
ABC Diving are recruiting ocean conservationists! Visit us in store to protect our ocean planet!
The first message is purely transactional and wide of the mark with how experience driven customers think. Promoting this message within your domestic market would serve to only confirm the savvy customer’s fears – you’re another business trying to make some quick cash.
Now consider the second message. You’ve moved away from transaction and now focus on relationship building. Now you’re recruiting. Now you’re appealing to emotions and creating an environment away from home and work where customers can find gratification through purpose. This now goes beyond selling a dive course. This is selling a lifestyle and a possibly also a career change.
Italy Dive Fest is a yearly event organized in partnership between PADI and DAN, Divers Alert Network to promote diving activities in different regions in Italy.
Italy Dive Fest 2018 was held on the islands of Lampedusa and Linosa during 10-14th October. Manufacturers participating in the event 2018 were Cressi Sub, Aqua Lung, SUEX, ScubaPro, COLTRI SUB and the diving activities were organized by Marina Divers PADI 5-Star IDC Centre, Pelagos PADI 5-Star Centre and Moby Diving PADI 5-Star Dive Centre on Lampedusa and MareNostrum PADI Dive Resort on Linosa.
The event was also supported by the Pelagie Islands Marine Park Association (MPA) who provided facilities and conducted presentations on how they ensure all parties work together to protect the islands beautiful and unique underwater environment. MPA together with PADI and DAN held meetings during the event to bridge the two communities – Scuba Diving and the Fishing Industry. With these groups discovering ways we can work better together for the longevity of the Pelagie Islands.
The environmental movement started with pictures taken of our blue planet from space by the first space explorers. It was then that we first realized how fragile our planet is and why it is so important to act now, to prevent us from destroying all the beauty that took millions if not billions of years to evolve.
Marcel Proust said “the true voyage of discovery is not so much about finding new landscape as to get a new pair of eyes”. Diving in areas like Lampedusa and Linosa gives you those new eyes and with those new eyes a better understanding why we have to act now to protect the ocean.
The ocean takes up more than 75% of our planet, with an average depth of nearly 3,700 meters and home of a larger biodiversity and bio density than the rain forest. The ocean has more earthquakes and volcanoes than on land. You find the longest mountain range in the ocean. The World Ocean is the habitat of 230,000 known species, but because much of it is unexplored, the number of species that exist in the ocean is much larger, possibly over two million.
Our hope is that our photos and videos from the depths of the oceans and lakes during an event such as the Italy Dive Fest 2018 will inspire in the same way as those photos taken from space by the first space explorers, which started the first environmental movement. Therefore creating further awareness to protect the underwater world, inline with PADI’s mission.
Lampedusa is the largest island of the ItalianPelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The island of Lampedusa is part of the Sicilian province of Agrigento which also includes the smaller islands of Linosa and Lampione. It is the southernmost part of Italy and Italy’s southernmost island. Tunisia is only 113 kilometres away, Sicily is further at 205 kilometres, whilst the island nation of Malta is 176 kilometres to the east. Lampedusa has an area of 20 square kilometres and a population of about 6,000 people. Its main industries are fishing, agriculture and tourism. There are year-round flights from Lampedusa Airport to Palermo and Catania on the Sicilian mainland. In the summer, there are additional services to Rome and Milan, besides many other seasonal links with the Italian mainland.
Below is a short description of the activities during the Italy Dive Fest 2018.
TUESDAY, 9 OCTOBER
Italy Dive Fest 2018 started with the iXperience Tour in partnership between Aqua Lung, PADI and DAN. This included presentations about the PADI Enriched Air Specialty Diver Program, Aqua Lung Enriched Air Computers and DAN Research. Divers could test dive Enriched Air Computers during the day.
WEDNESDAY, 10 OCTOBER
The first day involved diving activities managed by the PADI Dive Centres on Lampedusa followed by research activities in the Diving Village by DANs Diving Safety Lab. Manufacturers like Cressi Sub and Aqua Lung invited divers to test dive new diving equipment. The evening presentation, Technical seminar on dive regulators, was held by ScubaPro in the Marine Park Associations facilities in Lampedusa followed by a presentation by Ernesto Azzurro from ISPRA (International Government Research Institution) about ‘Climate Change’ and the new research program ISPRA is conducting with the support of PADI Dive Centres around Italy.
THURSDAY & FRIDAY, 11-12 OCTOBER
The DAN Medical Team conducted Medical Checks during the day on divers from PADI Dive Centres, who also had a chance learn more about how Doppler tests work. SUEX conducted an intro dive on the SUEX Scooters and presented the new PADI Distinctive Specialty Dive Course ‘SUEX Advanced Scooter Diver’. During the evening PADI Regional Manager Fabio Figurella and Director of the Neapolitan Zoological Station Professor Franco Andaloro presented the new PADI Distinctive Specialty Diver Course “Environmentally Friendly Diver”
SATURDAY, 13 OCTOBER
The day was dedicated to a trip to the neighbouring island of Linosa. DAN, SUEX and PADI conducted dives on the island with the support of PADI Dive Resort Mare Nostrum. In the evening SUEX Marketing Manager Ivo Calabrese held a presentation about the HYDRA Project, a research project using scooters in the Santa Margaretha Ligure Marine Park. The evening finished off with announcing the winners of the Instagram Italy Dive Fest Photo Competition in partnership with EasyDive, with prizes from ScubaPro, Aqua Lung and Cressi Sub.
So did we achieve our goal of spreading awareness about diving activities around the Pelagic islands of Lampedusa and Linosa? We believe by introducing more divers to the amazing to the underwater world around these islands, by holding presentations about diving programs that help divers improve their diving and through PADI’s joint programs with partners such as the Marine Park Association, Divers Alert Network, Neapolitan Zoological Station and diving manufactures Cressi Sub, Aqua Lung, Scuba Pro, SUEX, Easy Dive and more – We truly believe we did!
So please continue to spread this message by posting photos and videos from the underwater world, just like the space explorers did 50 years ago of the blue dot we call home. Thanks to all that participated in this year’s Italy Dive Fest. Special thanks goes out to PADI Regional Manger Fabio Figurella who initiated the event and was the main organizer.
Did you know 95% of the underwater world remains unexplored? Unrivalled by both its beauty and mystery, the oceans have become a fascination for divers around the world. With over 7 continents and 5 oceans on the earth, there is an abundance of different environments not to be missed. For all the adventure junkies out there, being a PADI Divemaster allows you to fulfil your eagerness to explore the world. Every individual has their ‘perfect destination’, and luckily for you, there are over 6500 PADI Dive Shops across the world. The PADI Divemaster certification is your one one-way ticket to work and exploration; both below and above the surface.
Exploring the World
Imagine waking up each day to a job that you love in a location you could only dream of living in before. Being a PADI Divemaster is the perfect mix of business and pleasure. It allows you the opportunity to turn your passion into your profession and lets you take your job across the world. As a PADI Divemaster, you work hard to ensure that PADI Dive Shop customers are having an unforgettable experience, whilst providing them a high quality service and creating unforgettable memories with them. By spending your time with guests from different backgrounds and nationalities, you explore the world further through their stories. But this rewarding lifestyle also allows you time off to explore the surrounding area, as well as time in between PADI Divemaster jobs to visit corners of the world that are now accessible to you ; From Central America, Europe, to the Pacific Islands. And along with all these beautiful places, comes a range of diverse diving locations. There really is something for every type of divemaster.
Working the World
With over 6500 PADI Dive Shops across the world there are plenty of opportunities. So how do you find a job as a PADI Divemaster?
Using the PADI Dive Shop Locator you are able to find a dive operator close to home or one in a faraway travel destination. Take a look at the PADI Pros Employment board on the PADI Pros site, which has regular job postings from Dive Shops around the world. Not only this, but the site allows you to post a bio of yourself to tell prospective employees about your skills, availability for work, and desired location. To use the employment board and receive all PADI Member benefits you must be a renewed PADI Member. By signing up for PADI Automatic Renewal by 6th November 2018, you’ll save at least 25%* on your annual membership fee. As well as global brand recognition, advancing your career and the PADI employment board, there are many more advantages of being a PADI Member.
So, are you ready to explore and work the world as a PADI Divemaster?
Without accurate member contact information, PADI cannot reliably deliver member benefits and important standards-related information to you. Be sure to update your personal details every time your postal address, email address, phone or fax number change, and ensure that you keep your teaching location up to date.
You can view the contact information PADI currently has on file for you at any time simply by accessing the Pros area of padi.com (go to Members’ Toolbox and then click on My PADI Information to check the information). If anything is missing or inaccurate, you can easily update the information online, or if you prefer, you can contact the Customer Relations Department at your PADI Office (as listed on the site) to provide updated details. It is also important that we have your language preference on file as we will always endeavour to communicate with you in your preferred language. Where we are unable to communicate in your language of choice, we will default to English.
Why is it important to keep all personal information up to date?
Ensures that you continue to receive all the benefits of your PADI membership, including The Undersea Journal and Training Bulletins (which are required reading for all PADI Members).
Allows you to access important region-specific information such as insurance requirements and information regarding local regulations pertinent to scuba diving.
Streamlines your communications with PADI.
Minimises any delays in processing by ensuring that any correspondence or queries relating to your membership, applications, or certifications submitted will be handled by the relevant department at the most appropriate PADI office from the outset.
Training hints and tips.
Updating your current contact details, including your language preference, means you will continue to receive specific regionally targeted communications, providing you with helpful training hints and tips relevant to your local teaching environment and details of upcoming training webinars such as the Training Bulletin Live, as well as information regarding the most current sales and marketing initiatives in your area.
Don’t miss out – visit the Pros’ site to check your personal contact details today!
As AWARE Week wrapped up on 23 September, the amount of dive operators, instructors, and dive communities that participated in events throughout the world was impressive. From Project AWARE Specialty courses, to neighborhood barbecues to Dive Against Debris® events collecting over 22,000 pounds of trash, here’s how our fellow dive operators helped make AWARE Week a success.
United Arab Emirates: Divers Down UAE
Divers Down UAE collected over 110 pounds of marine debris during their Dive Against Debris event. As a way of creating shark awareness, they also conducted an AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty course for 14 of their PADI divers.
Thailand: Crystal Dive Koh Tao
The team at Crystal Dive Koh Tao spent the week conducting Dive Against Debris and AWARE Shark Conservation specialties. To finish off the event, they celebrated with a free barbecue night for all of the participants.
Curacao: Blue Bay on Curacao
A group of volunteers came together in Curacao for a beach clean-up at Hole 6. In addition to the two full boats of divers and snorkelers, participants signed up for the PADI Invasive Lion Fish Specialty Course to assist in catching the invasive species.
Australia: Dive Centre Manly
The group at Dive Centre Manly gathered 30 people for their “Blue Backyard Cleanup.” The majority of the items retrieved were plastic wrappers, single-use coffee cups, straws, cutlery, Styrofoam, and hundreds of unidentifiable pieces of plastic. As an added reward, the nearby Hawkesbury Brewing Co. gave the participants a very well-deserved free beer.
Spain: Balky Sub
In Spain, Balky Sub’s group were on one of the area’s cleaner dive sites and still recovered more than 11 pounds of plastic in one day – mostly consisting of plastic bottles and bags. And since every day is AWARE Week for this team, they make an effort to pick up trash from the ocean and beach on a daily basis.
Philippines: Dive Funatics
Before they conducted their monthly Dive Against Debris event on 22 September, Dive Funatics, located in the Philippines held a peak performance buoyancy clinic to ensure all of their divers had a chance to polish up their buoyancy. To thank their divers, participants received a T-shirt in addition to a bracelet made of upcycled debris collected from their August Dive Against Debris event.
Jordan: Deep Blue Dive Center
Deep Blue Dive Center teamed up with the Tala Bay Resort team by hosting a Dive Against Debris at Tala Bay marina on 12 September. The result: The crew cleaned up over 140 pounds of waste in 20 bags. But they didn’t stop there. The following week, a group of 15 divers conducted another clean-up.
Bonaire: Dive Friends Bonaire
From 15-21 September, Dive Friends Bonaire organized a range of activities to fight ocean pollution. With seven locations and five house reefs on-island, the group worked to promote conservation with Dive Against Debris dives on every house reef.
Florida: Rainbow Reef Divers
Since Rainbow Reef divers host a Dive Against Debris event every month, they were quick to jump into action for AWARE Week. In September, their boat removed and recorded over 2,000 pounds of marine debris.
Please find below the dates for the next round of Training Bulletin live Webinars:
As always, we will be discussing the latest standards changes, providing background information on the updates and insight into how these can be integrated into your training. We will also be reviewing new products and providing business and marketing advice.
What PADI does in the background to ensure the least amount of licence burden in terms of diver access to our deeply loved wrecks and for our recreational diving activities in general.
There are thousands of wreck sites in UK Territorial Waters, caused by a long and busy history of sea-faring, inclement weather and human error. Historic England Archive alone, contains over 40,000 records of documented losses, seabed archaeological features and wreck sites. If you look at a plot of wrecks sites against a UK map, you get a hugely accurate coastal outline including major estuaries.
This provides fantastic diving opportunities but also raises issues of safety, preservation and protection, accessibility, and sustainable and respectful resource use. That’s why PADI alongside other key stakeholders (including BSAC) participates in committees, meetings and consultations with the relevant authorities both UK wide and in the devolved administrations, to best address these issues.
PADI has worked hard over the years to represent the views and interests of the recreational diving community. PADI sits on various stakeholder committees such as the Joint Nautical Archaeological Policy Committee to keep abreast of changing regulations and engages in many and varied heritage consultations and meetings to ensure our best interests are considered. We work with the authorities (e.g. Ministry of Defence, Historic Scotland, Historic England, CADW, Crown Estates, MMO, MCA and others) to ensure diver access where possible, and to prevent (sometimes unintended) regulatory consequences that could inhibit recreational diving activities.
For example, the MMO had originally intended to make use of a lift bag a licensable activity, which some in the archaeological community had presumed would afford better protection to vulnerable historic sites. We were able to negotiate use of a lift bag for smaller and contemporaneous objects, without the need for a licence, to ensure diver training, litter picks and recovery of diving equipment could continue without the need for a licence, whilst still maintaining the need for a licence for large scale commercial recovery or recovery of historic items.
Recently we have been working with the Crown Estate to clarify when seabed survey licences would be needed, and to ease the licence burden for recreational divers, compared to commercial operators.
PADI advocates a look,don’t touch approach to visiting wreck sites, leaving the site in tact for others to enjoy. We support in site preservation where possible again for future generations of divers to enjoy, and always advocate for responsible diver access, conceding that some of the most vulnerable (and unsafe, sometimes due to unexploded ordnance) sites may be off limits to us from time-to-time. Generally a licence isn’t needed to dive most of the wreck sites in the UK on a look,don’t touch basis, and licences aren’t needed for diver training activities.
For dive centres needing to place marker buoys for long periods, a self-service marine licence is available for markers placed for more than 28 days. If the marker is placed for less than 24 hours, no marine licence is needed, and for placements between 24hours and 28 days, you need to notify the MMO by completing an exemption notification form.
If you’re engaged in archaeologically activities, then you’ll need to consider a range of licencing obligations.
Here is a little reminder of just how beautiful the wreck diving around the United Kingdom is. Located off Scotland’s Northern most tip, Orkney is home to Scapa Flow – a huge natural harbour. Here, in 1919 the entire German high sea’s fleet collectively scuttled. With 7 wrecks remaining to dive – this is one for the bucket list!