seanw - 7/31/2019 2:12 PM
I don’t completely agree here. I don’t think the "average diver" is a single set of traits. I think it’s multi-modal — you’ve got people that only dive on vacation, people that can’t/don’t travel so dive locally, people that are cost sensitive, people that want flashy stuff. Some groups are more profitable than others.

Few of the things you mention are zero sum markets (IMHO). There’s a lot of pie to go around and the more interest there is (local or travel) means more opportunity.

With that in mind, I think the agencies like PADI are focusing mostly on the profitable segments and if you find yourself in an unprofitable segment (raises hand) I can see how you’ll feel left out. I’d imagine most quarries are not associated with an agency, and those local dives that are, are probably not bringing in a ton of money for agencies.

I do think that the agencies are hurting themselves somewhat in the relentless focus on buying equipment, training, and travel. I’ve had 4 acquaintances start their training recently and after doing the online training/book work I asked them how it was going. All of them (including youth) said they felt like half of it was marketing. I asked one adult "so what’s the number one rule of scuba diving?" and they jokingly answered "based on the course, it’s to buy your own equipment".

It’s inauthentic. Some people eat it up, some people see it for what it is. All this to say, just because you’re part of the latter group (as am I), doesn’t mean it’s not working or that it’s going to be the death of the industry.