Announcing The First ‘State of The Industry’ (SOTI) Study for The Dive Industry

the state of the dive industry in 2023

MIAMI – FEBRUARY 21, 2023 – The Business of Diving Institue has launched a comprehensive ‘State of The Industry’ (SOTI) study for the dive industry in collaboration with InDepth Magazine.

“The idea is to help each one of us in the dive industry navigate toward success,” Darcy Kieran, Principal at the Business of Diving Institute said. “We can remain competitors on different sailboats while contributing to a valuable, accurate weather forecast that none of us could produce in isolation.”

In our first SOTI survey of the Dive Industry, we will look at 2022 results compared to the prior year for certifications, travel, and dive gear sales in recreational and tech diving, freediving, snorkeling, and surface-supplied air diving around the world. We will also evaluate expectations/forecasts for 2023.

UPDATE: The results of the 2024 SOTI dive industry market study have now been published here and they integrate the 2023 results.

Our goal with this State of The Industry (SOTI) study is to provide dive professionals with:

  • A gauge of how the industry is doing: Are you doing better or worse than your peers?
  • A business weather forecast: What are the trends in our industry? What product/service markets are growing? Which ones are shrinking? In which geographical regions?

Our intent is also to:

  • identify the most pressing issues we should work on solving as a group of professionals; and
  • highlight opportunities for growth in changing markets.

In addition to sales & certification trends, we will study a myriad of other metrics of value to dive business owners and managers, like:

  • What percentage of dive gear is sold online nowadays?
  • What percentage of divers start with online learning?
  • Are dive centers with their own pool performing better?
  • How many dive stores also carry freediving and swim gear? Do these dive centers perform better?
  • Which department performs better in today’s dive center? What is the split in revenues between training, gear sales & travel?
  • Is there a change in the type of gear new divers purchase (e.g., more dive computers & accessories but less hard goods like regulators & BCDs)?
  • How is tech diving currently performing compared to recreational diving?
  • Is rebreather and sidemount diving gaining traction?
  • Is surface-supplied air diving making inroads in our industry?
  • And so much more!

All answers are anonymous. We estimate it should take most dive professionals less than 30 minutes to answer the SOTI survey. However, the survey contains more questions for local dive shops & dive centers because they sell all products & services offered in the dive industry. We thank you in advance for your time and commitment to this exciting industry!

To draw a complete picture of the dive industry, we need participation from all stakeholder groups, including:

  • Dive Shops & Dive Centers
  • Dive Schools (e.g., University programs)
  • Dive Clubs
  • Independent Dive Instructors
  • Dive Boat Operators
  • Dive Resorts
  • Dive-Specialized Liveaboards
  • Dive Operators on Cruise Ships
  • Dive Travel Agencies/Agents
  • Dive Training/Certification Agencies
  • Dive Gear Manufacturers/Brands
  • Dive Gear Wholesalers/Distributors
  • Dive Gear Sales Representatives/Agents
  • Dive-Specialized Media

This SOTI study is part of a series of dive industry surveys by the Business of Diving Institute and InDepth magazine with support from DAN Europe, Shearwater, and GUE.

You may consult the list of our past surveys and access the results under “Dive Industry Compass.”

Contact the Business of Diving Institute if you have specific questions about the dive industry. We plan to keep producing dive industry surveys and market research studies to help dive professionals like you.

About The Business of Diving Institute

The Business of Diving Institute (BODI) is the brainchild of Darcy Kieran. It started in September 2000, shortly after Darcy purchased his first dive shop. At the time, he was in charge of sales for the largest division of a multi-billion dollar international transport company, and he could not understand the lack of training available to his dive store staff, and even less, the lack of industry market data. It’s to address these two needs that the Business of Diving Institute was born.

About InDepth Magazine

InDepth grew out a long running conversation between Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) founder and president Jarrod Jablonski and Michael Menduno, the founder and editor-in-chief of the now defunct aquaCORPS: The Journal for Technical Diving (1990-1996), which helped launch technical diving. Their idea was to create an online magazine aimed at the global technical and mission-oriented diving communities, the way that Menduno’s aquaCORPS did back when technical diving was just emerging. InDepth is distinct from GUE’s membership magazine and is actually intended as GUE’s contribution or “give-back” to the global diving community.

Source: Darcy Kieran