Approximately three to four million scuba divers originate from Europe, where RSTC Europe represents approximately 80% of this market.
The typical diving student attends a diving course and often buys items of equipment, sometimes the entire set of diving equipment. Further courses are later attended by around 20% of new divers. Once qualified, more than 80% of divers book a holiday combined with diving activities within the first two years after the basic course, and frequently book further diving holidays afterwards.
The diving industry is significant: the diving student invests on average, either during or shortly after the entry-level training course, up to €1,600 into equipment, approximately €400 for the entry-level course, and between €80 to €300 for further training levels. It is common for the diving student to complete two training courses (at €300 each) and depending upon interest and local conditions, additionally between two to six specialty courses (at €100 each). Additionally, sales of travel, rental fees and local expenses are not taken into consideration in these examples.
It has been estimated that the European diving industry generates in excess of €190 million per year. Therefore, the recreational diving industry is a substantial economic factor overall. Sophisticated new devices are ever more in demand, particularly digital cameras, electronically-controlled rebreathers, diver propulsion vehicles and advanced diving computers.