Types of Diving Holiday
Diving holidays fall into two groups – liveaboards and land-based holidays.
Liveaboard holidays offer divers the opportunity to live on board the boat they are diving from, and visit multiple sites over a set period. Liveaboard boats take up to 24 people but some take smaller groups of 12-14 people.
Hardcore Divers are particularly keen on liveaboard trips as remote sites are more accessible by boat, and importantly, not commonly visited. However, single divers also choose liveaboard experiences as the holidays are social and a good way to meet people.
Land-based Diving Holidays
These are centred on resorts that have a dive centre on site, or are located close to a centre. Accommodation tends to be less important than the diving facilities, but divers are looking for good value for money.
Land-based holidays are more likely to be chosen by Recreational Divers who like to enjoy additional activities, couples and people travelling with others who don’t dive. These resorts are well-placed to appeal to the potential growth markets of budget travellers, families and the active 50+.
Diving Holiday Specifics
- The average duration of a diving holiday is between 7 and 10 days.
- Typically, diving holidays are booked through specialist diving holiday tour operators, local dive shops or directly with diving resorts on the Internet or in person.
- Booking lead times tend to be long with divers spending up to two years researching the ‘perfect’ destination, and booking a year ahead for land-based holidays, more for liveaboard.
Opportunities for Travel Agents and Tour Operators
- Raise awareness of diving as an activity and provide customers relevant information about the best places to dive in the South Pacific and what is special about each destination.
- Suggest additional activities to complement a diving holiday such as snorkelling, mountain hikes and village tours.
- Develop relationships with South Pacific ground operators so you can sell their trips before your clients start to travel.
- Ensure you are able to cater for all groups of divers including beginners – it is helpful to be able to advise on dive training courses.
Issues in the Marketplace
- Getting to the destination easily is of paramount concern to the diver in terms of time, cost and dive objective. Some countries are easier to reach than others; many of the more remote islands such as Micronesia will be of more interest to Hardcore Divers who will be prepared to go the extra mile (and pay extra) to reach their chosen destination. However, the honeymoon market can be usefully targeted for Fiji; ease of access to Palau will appeal to the Asian diver market.
- Be aware of the regional flight schedules and which local operators operate regional passes which offer value and convenience to the customer.