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FAKE NEWS!!--PADI to be sold once again

Discussion in 'Scuba Industry News' started by Efka76, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hillsborough, NC and Kents Store, VA
    5,295
    2,316
    113
    What do you think PADI specifically did that would 'cut the throats of their dive shops in the past year'? I am really curious.
     
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    24,786
    15,712
    113
    What he wrote is accurate in that several dive shops in Colorado have already left PADI, and others are thinking about it. It is a very sudden development. The specific problem is dive travel.

    Here is Colorado, we have nearly no local pleasure diving--the overwhelming majority of local diving is solely for the purpose of certification. Despite the lack of local diving, DEMA statistics have for decades identified Colorado as having among the most divers per capita in the nation. We have a wealth of of local dive shops. Coloradans do their diving on vacation--our unofficial state motto is that we are just a plane flight away from great scuba.

    That means that dive travel is a HUGE part of those many dive businesses. Go into the dive shop with which I do most of my work and you will usually see 4 people hard at work at their desks in the dive travel section of the shop. Most of the shop's income--by far--comes from that.

    With PADI now highly engaged in the travel business, these shops believe that PADI is in direct competition with them, and they do not like it one bit. It is hard to understand how switching to another agency will change that, but that is what is going on.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  3. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hillsborough, NC and Kents Store, VA
    5,295
    2,316
    113
    John, thank you.

    While I still hope to hear from Birddog1911 (since he made the specific comment), regarding what would constitute an action that would ''cut the throats of their dive shops in the past year', your comment makes sense. If PADI shops in Colorado derive a significant portion of their income from travel, and their affiliated agency creates a program that is perceived to be in direct competition with those shops, I can readily understand that such an action would be negatively viewed.

    So, are there any data to characterize exactly how much of an impact PADI has had on local shop travel business? That is not my field of expertise, and I haven't paid much attention to travel issues, as I always go through local shops, or book travel directly myself.
     
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    24,786
    15,712
    113
    I got most of my information from a shop that is considering making the switch for the reason I cited. I assume they have thought it out, but it is hard for me to understand how switching your agency will improve the situation. If PADI travel is creating competition for dive travel, then that competition will exist regardless of your shop's affiliation. As someone from that shop said, their customer base for travel likes the personal touch they provide, and he does not think they will lose many of those customers.
     
    pipefish likes this.
  5. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    8,280
    3,849
    113
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    24,786
    15,712
    113
    kelemvor likes this.
  7. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    7,051
    4,017
    113
    When people certify through an agency, assuming a good experience (and what else do they compare it to at that stage?), they're likely to develop some faith/confidence in that agency's brand name. When they see it elsewhere, it's a draw.

    Occasionally on Scuba Board someone starts a thread like this, 'Hi, we just got certified with PADI, and we're planning a trip to <insert name> Caribbean island, and we're looking for a PADI dive op. there...'

    While they also develop confidence in the shop they train through, 'PADI Travel' is a competitor that's no longer 'Brand X.' A lot of new divers have never heard of Caradonna or Maduro, but they recognize PADI. Some who wouldn't have looked twice at Diviac will browse PADI Travel listings.

    Wish I could see the other thread that got mentioned; theory aside, I wonder how much real world impact it's having.

    Richard.
     
  8. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hillsborough, NC and Kents Store, VA
    5,295
    2,316
    113
    I agree, switching agencies won't eliminate the competition, if indeed there is competition. And, if the competition succeeds, then the shops really aren't providing sufficient value to hold those local customers. Does this sound like a discussion of online gear sales?

    I think that personal touch counts. Most divers I know - and I have already said this applies to me - prefer to work through a local shop, or club. If I really want to save money, I book everything myself. But, local shops organize trips where I go with other divers I already know in many cases, and I enjoy the camaraderie.

    At the same time, if a shop decides to switch agencies as a statement of dissatisfaction, or a matter of principle, that is certainly their prerogative. Personally, I think the PADI travel network will go the way of ScubaEarth, etc. There may be a strong internal champion at the moment, but making it work, and sustaining it, is more challenging than meets the eye.
     
  9. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    8,280
    3,849
    113
    Sorry, my error
     
  10. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seattle
    2,377
    989
    113
    From my limited experience, students generally don't care about agency. They just want to learn to dive. This may be different in other places in the world. There are similarities and differences at the open water level, but I doubt most students would notice the difference.
     

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