Sustainable Tourism & Conservation – Why Are These Key for Dive Instructors
Here at Dive Ninjas we are super proud of our conservation focused PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC). But why the emphasis on this? Does it really make a difference? Well, the answer is YES! Let’s dive in and find out why!
Cost vs Quality
Spend some time in the dive industry, and you’ll notice that it’s an increasingly crowded field, with new dive operations opening, and others failing, all the time. To be successful, somehow a dive operation (and this can be a huge dive centre, or a one man band that you setup independently post your IE) needs to standout, to both attract and retain customers. Commercially, there are two main ways to do this – either compete to provide the lowest cost, or standout by providing the highest quality. Now, competing on cost is problematic, as inevitably corners will be cut, intentional or not – which isn’t great as this may compromise safety. In our view, the better, and more sustainable way to standout is by providing high quality experiences and services.
What is High Quality?
So what does high quality mean in this context? Well, customers want good experiences and excellent training – so that needs to be a huge check. And safety of course, shouldn’t be taken for granted, so another big check. But today’s increasingly more discerning and environmentally aware customers also want assurance that their leisure activities will not have a negative impact on the environment. This is where a dive offering with genuine sustainable tourism and conservation practices credentials can really stand out. Increasingly, divers understand that doing things the right way costs a bit more. But they also remain loyal to operators that they trust will ensure that their environmental practices are truly green.
By building on experiences focusing on nature interpretation, conservation and citizen science type activities, you as a dive professional, will be able to offer your customers something different. Not only are their leisure activities not having a negative environmental impact – citizen science actually turns the dial all the way up the other way, and ensures that their holiday fun time actually contributes positively. Customers are able to take part in and contribute to real scientific research – allowing them to make a difference and be part of the solution. Customers will choose activities and holidays that tie in with their personal values, and increasingly conservation and citizen science led activities such as Dive Against Debris, and local partnerships with marine researchers fit the bill.
Long Term Thinking
By operating sustainably and prioritising conservation over simple profit, dive professionals are ensuring that there is a longer term future in the industry. Sustainable practises, such as not dropping anchor on a reef, may take more time and effort, but it ensures that the marine environment thrives year after year, and the dive sites will flourish and delight divers for generations to come. Cabo Pulmo is a shining example of this – by establishing and enforcing community owned sustainable practises and monitoring, the biomass of the reef has increased by nearly 500%, and it is now a premier diving destination.
As a professional dive instructor, knowing and believing that you are working in a sustainable and conservation minded way provides a boost to your confidence and motivation. We all know that the dive industry is not perfect, but you at least, are working in a positive, higher standard way – protecting the marine environment that we all love, while at the same time sharing it with delighted customers. It makes it much easier to get out of bed in the morning when you are not only doing something you love, but also sharing that passion with other like minded divers. Plus, you role as a PADI Divemaster or Instructor gives you the opportunity to inspire the next generation of divers to love and take care of the underwater world! You can create lasting impacts as those new divers grow and go on to share what they’ve learned from you with their friends and family – or maybe even their guests & students when they one day decide to follow your lead and become a dive instructor! By focusing on sustainable tourism and conservation you not only become a role model in the industry, but a massive force for change.
Ready to be a conservation minded dive instructor? Click here to learn more about the Ninja IDC Program and sign up today!
Ninja Family Guest Writer:
Lover of all marine animals big and small – and ok, yes, I like diving a lot! When not underwater, I can be found in London with my goldfish.
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