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Straight Talk from PADI CEO: The Pulse of PADI Members in this Pandemic

Last month I asked for your help in completing a short survey to let us know how you are doing. We wanted to know how PADI Members are faring in different regions globally, your outlook on the future, and what measures seem to be helping. We got a tremendous response from thousands of store, resort and professional members in 132 countries and 15 languages across all global regions. If you’re one of the thousands of PADI Members who took the time to reply, thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspectives, they are respected and deeply appreciated.

How you said you are doing through this pandemic

Impressively, PADI Members overall remain generally positive, and continue to persevere with determination irrespective of their individual challenges. Importantly, 90 percent of PADI Members say they, their families and friends are in good health, and if COVID-19 affected them that they’re recovering and managing. Overall tone and perspective were constructive, with little negativity, though a small percentage are pessimistic.

Your outlook for the future: geography matters

Globally, more than half of PADI Members say they’re optimistic or cautiously optimistic about their business or dive career, though as you’d expect their present situation, only about 30 percent in the locked down areas in the Asia Pacific region said this. PADI Members are confronting the pandemic. Dealing with today’s challenges, even where recovery is nil or slow, PADI Pros stay determined and are keeping a long-term view. In the Americas and EMEA regions, many PADI Members are seeing business coming back – a few to almost normal – though there are regional exceptions. Worldwide, just under half of responding PADI Members say that where they are, dive businesses are partially recovered or better, but about 45 percent say travel or business restrictions are still affecting them. While in the Americas and EMEA regions more than 98 percent of PADI Members say they’re not in lockdown, about 35 percent in the Asia Pacific region reported they are.

What is needed to fully recover?

With little difference across regions, 60-70 percent of PADI Members say what they need most for business recovery are an end to shutdowns and travel restrictions, and more business coming in the doors.

What support has been most valuable?

Among PADI benefits, respondents gave the strongest ratings to expanded elearning courses and languages, Regional Manager consultation, PADI Staff-led webinars and the growing tools and resources on the PADI Pros’ Site. Staff will continue to leverage and expand these along with improving prescriptive, local area RHQ support.

What PADI should strive to do better at?

About 35 percent of respondents rated PADI RHQ support as “good” or “great”, with about the same percent saying it is “okay.” But this was uneven, with more “poor” ratings understandably coming from those amid slow recovery. With lockdowns also affecting PADI Staff ability to travel, be out in the market, and attend normally scheduled events and shows in some geographies, you rightly told us that you missed both the face-to-face interactions with the PADI Team, and the one-on-one time with staff in the dive shops. As restrictions ease in these markets, the PADI Team are eager to get back out to see you and lend a hand.

PADI’s Mission is strongly supported

In all regions, more than 85 percent of the respondents support PADI’s mission to recruit Torchbearers and restore the balance between humanity and the ocean, seeing it as essential as well as beneficial to diving and their dive businesses/careers. Less than two percent expressed being unsupportive, with the balance neutral about it being important to diving and their business. This is critical. PADI’s Blueprint for Ocean Action is a massive, ambitious challenge taking on marine debris, species protection, coral restoration, carbon reduction and Marine Protected Area expansion. It is the biggest mission any entity in diving has ever taken on. But it is a possible mission because of PADI Member resilience and determination coupled with PADI’s global reach and diversity.

What you can expect from the PADI RHQs going forward

Focusing on things we can control – bring new customers to PADI Members and help get PADI Pros back to work. As part of your member benefits, we are investing in new diver acquisition marketing and outreach to attract more consumers to PADI Dive Centers and Resorts. PADI public relations’ investment will garner 15 billion media impressions this year, giving consumers in 117 countries reasons to learn to dive with PADI Members. The newly released PADI Job Board on the Pros’ Site also provides hundreds of new job opportunities each month for PADI Pros, connecting experienced dive professionals with PADI Dive Centers and Resorts around the world. The much-needed webinars and marketing tools will continue and PADI Staff will increase their travel out into the market.

PADI’s mission to create a billion Torchbearers to explore and protect the ocean will continue to be a primary focus of the organization, driving essential ocean conservation actions and new ocean advocates into diving. This is good for the ocean and good for your business.

Resilience and Recovery

In the last 20 months PADI people and their unparalleled tenacity and innovation have consistently stood out as the dive community’s brightest lights. Thank you for your continued support, resolve and leadership. The ocean and PADI’s future rests securely on this foundation.

Drew Richardson

The post Straight Talk from PADI CEO: The Pulse of PADI Members in this Pandemic appeared first on PADI Pros.

President’s Desk, Drew Richardson, PADI, PADI CEO, Regional ManagerPADI Pros

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