Entry-level scuba diving certifications among Americans were flat in Q2 and remained much lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Open water scuba diving certification numbers matter because the dive industry continues to operate under an out-of-date business model highly dependent on new people learning to dive.
The last couples of years have been difficult for business owners, especially those operating in market segments reliant on travel like the scuba diving industry.
After being hit hard during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), with a drop of 42%, the number of entry-level scuba diving certifications rebounded in 2021 but remained 14% below pre-pandemic levels.
You may consult the full analysis of 2020 and 2021, here:
In the first quarter of this year, we witnessed a growth of 24.6% in entry-level scuba diving certifications compared to 2021. However, the number of certs remained 17.6% lower than pre-pandemic levels (2019).
Unfortunately, this growth rate didn’t continue in the second quarter of 2022.
Scuba Diving Certification Data in Q2: April to June
In the second quarter of 2022, the number of entry-level open water diver certifications was barely above the prior year, with a growth of 0.6%, which means that certs remained 13.3% below pre-pandemic (2019) levels.
Since the dive industry was already shrinking pre-COVID, this may simply indicate a continued general downward trend, regardless of the impact of the pandemic.
The second quarter of 2020 was the first one to receive the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the virus was in the news at the end of 2019, it’s only toward the end of the first quarter of 2020 that it significantly affected tourism, when many countries shut their borders down.
Here are the year-over-year changes in Q2 (April, May, June):
- 2022 over 2021: +0.6%
- 2021 over 2020: +222.6%
- 2020 over 2019: -73.3%
- 2019 over 2018: -1.7%
- 2018 over 2017: -12.1%
How are the open water scuba diving certification numbers generated?
The quarterly reports on entry-level open water scuba certifications issued to American residents are produced by DEMA, the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association, using data received from dive training agencies PADI, NAUI, and SDI. An averaged estimate of non-reporting dive certification agencies is added to generate the final numbers.
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Article Submitted by Darcy Kieran
Entrepreneur | Executive | Author | Radio Announcer | Scuba Diving Instructor