I was recently reading an article about the decline in diving tourism on the Var coast, which for the summer of 2018 would drop by 12%
The stated causes of this slowdown in diving activity in this region being targeted by the journalist as being multiple:
- A general decline in popularity of diving activity that is no longer put forward in the media
- Competition with destinations returning strong after years spent being shunned by divers: Egypt, Spain, …
- Temporary problems such as the SNCF strikes or the 2018 World Cup, which would have had the effect of reducing holiday departures
- A shift of the season which would start later but would extend until November
Returning from the south of France where I took a lot of pleasure to dive, I still ask myself the question of whether these reasons alone explain the decrease of frequentation of the dive shops in the Var (and perhaps more largely of South of France?) or could we also think about the structural functioning of the dive business in France:
- How is the dive business organized in France? Is it still relevant? Is entrepreneurship sufficiently present?
- The Sport Code, which gives access to the profession only to people holding a “Brevet d”etat”, and the tensions between certification agencies do not prevent the emergence of healthy competition in terms of quality and innovation in French diving centers?
- Prices in diving centers (50 to 70 € for a try scuba dive and 35 euros for regular dives) cumulated with those of tourism during the summer season on the Mediterranean coast can they compete against the offers made in diving centers located in diving destinations such as Egypt, Mexico or Asia?
- Culturally, the dive in France started with associative structures before the birth of commercial structures. Also, it is not uncommon to find in these professional dive centers certain “non profit” behaviours maybe based on an idea of friendliness. Does this model still meet the benefits that divers are accustomed to in other less expensive parts of the world?
As an anecdote, to prepare my last stay in Marseille, my partner contacted, as of February, several centers to book a week of diving in the middle of August. Only one took the trouble to answer him. Simple negligence or real agenda too busy? (And in this case, a negative answer is just a professional attitude)
Very clearly and even if I do not have the answer to all these questions, I wonder if it would not be interesting for the professionals of the sector of diving in France to meet and start a global reflection on the health of the sector.
The dives in the Mediterranean are really beautiful and it would be a shame to see the area suffocate
What are your experiences in the Mediterranean?
And most importantly, do not forget to be happy 🤗