The dive industry in the UK are having a tough time - well in fact it is worldwide
We find ourselves closed to you our lovely friends, having to think about things we never thought we would have to. Just like other small businesses, and even some large ones, we have to think about things like job insecurity, bills still having to be paid and turning our business model on its head. After just investing in a new physical classroom we find ourselves running our training in our new virtual classroom, its a strange old world!
We find ourselves spending more and more time on Social media channels, which I am finding are full of ‘I have just purchased a set of regulators and it was a great deal’, ‘where can I purchase swimming costumes, wetsuits, leggings’ and much more…
The internet retailers keep going and are heavily discounting in order to continue to take the market share. In some cases, not discounting but have actually put their prices up, because YOU are a captive audience, sat at home pouring over the internet, looking at shiny dive equipment and maybe dreaming about your next trip.
In fact, we hope you are dreaming of that new bit of shiny equipment and that next great dive trip, but all of this has an impact on the smaller independent retailers.
Charter boat operations are also impacted, it was bad enough before COV19 with charters being cancelled through lack of interest or numbers not being met, yes, it is difficult to compete with the allure of warmer climates.
Did you know, the UK has some if not the best diving in the world?
let’s see… Sherringham Gullies is an incredibly beautiful and relatively easy shore dive, it is only a couple of hours away from us in Norfolk. The Norfolk area has some amazing scenic and wreck dives. Scapa Flow the home of the German high fleet has some amazing wrecks. Farne islands, who cannot resist the allure of the seals, there inquisitiveness – all they want to do is play. St.Abbs a combination of scenic and wrecks and that is just a few of what the UK has to offer. These are wrecks well preserved thanks to the colder temperatures of the UK waters.
Thinking back over the last five years since I started full time in this industry, the number of dive centres and charter operations that have closed down here in the UK is really sad. If this continues, the consequences will be huge, you will have to travel longer distances to get your air fills meaning you might have to have more cylinders or even your own compressor would probably seem excessive but might become realistic even if not cost effective.
Once your local dive centre closes, you will lose much more than an air fill station, it will mean goodbye to your ability to pop in and have a cup of coffee when out and about (some would say when you do not quite want to go home yet!)
The small retailers, like us here at Dive Rutland, need your footfall from not only air fills, but to fill our trips and events. Let’s be honest air fills do not make money but are part of the service that a dive centre provides. That’s right your local dive centre is a service to you and your community. It has certainly been shown to be essential in the last five weeks, with some of the work we have been doing behind the scenes for our key workers - work you do not see.
Your dive centre is much more. We provide income for pubs, charters, dive manufacturers and suppliers and in fact other dive centres, particularly when out on club trips - all which keeps a small part of the economy going. We are an amazing community let’s keep it going.
When this is all over go to your local dive centre and continue your training, purchase a clip – it all helps! Book on a trip, put your equipment in for service (in fact why wait – here at Dive Rutland we have a drop off, or post in service and can get it done so you are ready to go).
Don’t spend hours in your local dive centre trying on equipment, draining them of their expertise with your endless questions and then go and buy off the internet for a couple of pound cheaper. The service they have extended to you in their time and effort has cost them more than the couple of pounds you think you have saved. Your dive centre provides you with value and service and so much more.
Here at Dive Rutland for example, if you purchase a computer, we will take the time to show you how to use it, purchase a set of regulators we will fit together and make sure they are setup and ready to go, all making you a safer and ready to go diver. That’s right, they do not come put together in the box.
‘Use or Lose’ your local dive centre has never been truer. As part of the UK diving community we kindly ask that when we come out this situation, we all find ourselves in, we all continue to pull together and do just what we are currently doing – support our local community.
In the meantime with some of your spare time what all small businesses, us included would much appreciate is you take a little time (maybe when sat with that cup of coffee and piece of cake) to like, follow, comment, write positive reviews on any of our social media channels (Facebook and Google to name two) and show you care and are thinking about and want to go diving.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, we are passionate about what we do, and we are just like you WANT TO GO DIVING
All of the pictures are from Dive Rutland UK diving club trips.
Dive Rutland is the trading name for Dive Rutland Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 9433835.
Registered address: 8 Horn Close, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6FE