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Diving & watersport industry in change: The market trends

While the diving industry in West and Central Europe reached a certain level of saturation of the market, it registered a higher growth of certifications in the last years in Eastern Europe and Asia. Particularly the trend for ecologically oriented thinking travelers has arisen, from where many younger people can be recruited into divinng.

Also in the future the diving industry in Eastern Europe and Asia can expect a larger growth than in Western- and Central Europe. Reasons for this are a stronger economic growth, a higher birth rate and thus more new customers, as well as a certain pent-up demand. In Western and Central Europe against the time, now and in the future, the lower birth rate in later generations become apparent and a saturation of the market can appear.

Thus the number of divers will shrink here due to the demographic change in the next 20 years farther by 8 to 9 percent. Also initial training sessions, which encounter an up-to-date amount of 40,000 appears as still of high interest, which might decrease annually for this reason by around 1 percent.
The ratio of women is constant, and usually connected with a break between 25 and 35 years. Not all will remain as “active divers”, an estimation shows that about 10 percent of divers will give up diving immediately after the basic course. They have achieved their goal of diving by trying it out – to then turning themselves towards a new challenge. The remaining ones are divided onto the “holiday diver” and the “frequent diver”.

The first group dives predominantly on holiday. However, he/she buys or acquires special diving equipment for leisure activities  (i.e. light equipment for warm water diving, specialty courses or UW-cameras). The groups of the “frequent diver” gradually buy the most diverse articles of equipment, sometimes even several times anew. Both groups invest to a large extent – and the real potential of the next years lies exactly there, in order to generate, particular in the western countries, even further sales development.

It is important to identify the customer to serve these trends as required. In addition new offers for families (i.e. parents learn to dive with their children),  extravagant ones (for example diving into sea caves) or perhaps an interesting combination of offers including trips, submarine rides, child care and grill evenings on the diving boats. 

With consistent but interesting youth activities and employment, including the families at the resort, new active divers can be won. Particularly regarding the ecologically oriented tourism, as there is large new potential: hence, young people are more interested in ecological topics and become very active.

The project “Ocean CleanUP”, with which a very young entrepreneur developed a revolutionary technology to the self-purification of the oceans, is an impressive example of  this. Likewise the “Baykeepers” in New York State - young volunteers who analyse the proportional plastic content in the waters of the bays, in order to refer the need for action to the local water management department.

It is generally valid to make it clear to young people that diving is not just a great sport and educational, but is also a character molding measure: divers observe and protect the underwater world in various way and contribute to a better world. The second important group of the new divers is the group of the Baby Boomers; the generation aged 55 plus. Adapted course programmes with flexible and convienient content for that groupbecomes more important.

Naturally, this is very applicable for local diving schools. Existing customers must be cared for as well as the new target audiences. The current needs (potential) of divers must be considered and analysed in fine detail.

Cooperation with water-sport clubs, shops and dive-clubs of various interest and agencies are a great advantage.

RSTC-Europe Administration
c/o International Aquanautic
Club GmbH & Co. KG
Frintroper Str. 18
45355 Essen


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Origin of resources:

RSTC – Mitgliederorganisationen
From RSTC – Member Organisatios
Stiftung für Zukunftsfragen

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