A recent survey conducted by PADI partners, The Reef-World Foundation, asked recreational divers, professionals from all training agencies and dive travel agents to give their opinion on sustainability issues in our industry.
Over 2,400 responses were received from PADI and non-PADI accredited divers in over 115 countries. Survey participants offered a broad range of perspectives spanning freedivers and one-time DSD divers through to dive professionals and business owners with over 10 years experience in our industry.
Undoubtedly, data captured by this monumental survey has shone a light on mass trends in the diving industry and left little to the imagination in terms of the future of scuba diving as an increasingly popular global sport.
When recreational divers were asked about priorities in booking dive travel, common obstacles and beliefs regarding who is responsible for industry sustainability, the responses were clear;64% stated that sustainability is a main consideration in selecting a dive operator. A whopping 95% of divers thought dive operators should be doing more to protect the reef, but 83% indicated a desire to support these efforts by receiving more education and guidance on sustainability and protecting marine life on their vacation. However, 85% shared that they find it hard to see if a dive center or resort is sustainable.
The responses from professional divers and business owners indicated some clear similarities and an interesting misconception;80% of dive professionals clearly understood that your potential customers are now looking for more sustainable dive options, echoing the majority of diver responses that indicated this trend. 77% of dive professionals agreed with the majority of recreational divers that they felt their dive operation should and could do more to be sustainable, and understood that there was a clear demand for further education with 76% of dive pros agreeing that divers are looking for more sustainability information from their dive guide.
What this data shows is a resounding desire from both divers and dive professionals to do more to be sustainable and protect marine life while diving.
There is a strong demand from all divers to seek out evidence-based, practical education on how to do so, and find a trustworthy, convenient way to determine which dive operators are taking steps to become more sustainable to inform decision making when booking a dive trip.
Interestingly, only 57% of dive professionals understood that divers face difficulties determining which dive operator is sustainable, compared to a resounding 85% of recreational divers who report this barrier.
What this shows is a clear requirement for an initiative that offers;A simple code of conduct regarding environmental standards for all eco-conscious divers and dive operators to adhere to Low-cost, practical solutions and educational materials that support divers and dive operators in becoming more sustainable, one step at a time Obvious labeling for dive operations that indicates an independently assessed commitment to sustainability, making it easy for divers to identify dive operators committed to sustainability Global reach, so every dive operator on this planet has the opportunity to join a community committed to change
Introducing Green Fins Digital Hub, an independant, global platform for all dive operators to become Green Fins Digital Members (launching in September 2022).
As a Green Fins Digital Member, you will gain access to a profile and take a confidential survey about your operations. Results from the survey will highlight practical, affordable and achievable actions that you can take in your business to reduce your impact on the environment and attract new, eco-conscious divers. You will be asked to choose and commit to three actions for the coming year, and in return become marketable as a Green Fins Member through all dive travel booking avenues.
In addition to the Action Tracker, the platform also offers a Solutions Library brimming with environmental guides, briefing cards and posters, alongside a Global Forum. The forum will connect you with local and international marine conservation issues and enable you to connect with fellow dive operators on solutions to common challenges faced, learning from people just like you who have already achieved progress in the very same areas of concern that your local community may currently be facing.
Finally, Green Fins Digital Membership encourages you and your colleagues to take the Green Fins Dive Guide E-Course, designed to equip you with the information and skills required to be an environmental role model for your divers and provide exemplary environmental guidance on sustainability and the protection of marine life.
To learn more and pre-register interest in becoming a Green Fins Digital Member, click here.
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