In the wake of a global viral pandemic, what happens to an industry which relies significantly on travel? As a response to the current outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising against all travel - a move which we at Girls that Scuba strongly support. Many countries worldwide are rightfully shutting their borders to protect their populations, meaning that the scuba diving industry has found itself ground to something of a halt.
We’d love for that halt to be as temporary as possible, and whilst we can’t do anything about the virus itself, we can certainly help to keep the industry supported so that we can get back in the water as soon as possible once it’s safe to travel again.
With such a huge community of scuba divers at our fingertips, we’re eager to use our impact for good in this tumultuous time - and to spread some positivity whilst were at it. With that in mind, we’re here to encourage you to support our industry in whatever way you can right now; whether you have money to spare or you’re tightening the purse strings, read on for plenty of inspiration on how you can have an impact.
Free ways to support the dive industry
We’re conscious that this is a difficult financial time for many people, so here are some great ways you can support the scuba diving industry without even spending any money!
Engage on social media
Like most of us, your screen time is probably way higher than usual right now - so instead of mindlessly scrolling, why not make your time on Instagram and Facebook a little more worthwhile for the dive brands and scuba schools you love? An engaged social media following goes a long way towards helping small businesses out, so take some time to seek out the dive shops you’ve adventured underwater with in the past and interact with their online presence. Show some love with your likes and comments, share their photos of marine life you love, or shout them out in your stories.
If you want to take it one step further and really give them a boost, take this opportunity to upload old photos from your dive trips (bonus points if you use our Girls that Scuba Underwater Presets) along with a short testimonial in your caption. Be sure to tag them so they see your post - your positive words will mean a lot to people right now!
We've started a scuba support thread on our Facebook group that you can participate in and read the comments from members reaching out for support at the moment. Join our group and check out this thread.
How many times have you had an amazing guide or instructor and told them you’ll be sure to review them on Tripadvisor, and then got to the end of your trip and totally forgotten to do so? If you’re finding yourself with extra time at home it’s a great chance to catch up on reviewing dive operators that you’ve loved on previous trips.
Postpone instead of cancelling
With travel being halted across the globe, it’s likely that many of you will have had your diving plans disrupted. If you’ve already paid a deposit or full fee for a dive trip, postpone your plans where possible as opposed to cancelling your trips and requesting a refund. Try to be respectful of decisions if a company has chosen to offer you credit for a future trip instead of a cash refund.
The destinations will still be there whenever we’re lucky enough to be able to travel freely again, and keeping the cash flow within the industry can be the difference between small dive companies staying afloat and succumbing to these challenging times.
If you are still on full wage and have some cash to help the industry take a look at our follow on article "How to support the scuba industry in hard times"
Participate in online communities offering workshops
Many dive companies are starting to offer free online workshops or courses. GET INVOLVED! Join in, show your presence; you get so much out of it and the company have put in so much effort (and volunteered time) to do this for anyone who may need it. Some companies offering workshops:
Dive Ninjas: Ocean Stories. A new series of FREE talks, workshops, and presentations given by some of the incredible minds from around the world that they have been lucky to work with over the years. Guests include our founder Sarah Richard, shark conservationist Regi Domingo and ocean stunt women Liz Parkinson. Join here
Sharks for Kids: For the next 3 weeks ( possibly longer) Sharks4kids will be offering FREE shark webinars for students. Guests will include shark scientists, videographers, divers, conservationists and more. Click here for info on speakers and links to join.
Manta Trust: Over the coming weeks Manta Trust will be posting weekly manta and marine themed activities for your kids to work through at home as they launch Manta Trust Kids Club
Insider Divers: At Insider Divers they believe in continuous learning. When divers are at home they want to provide online support for those interested in learning and developing. The first free webinar will be for photographers (also above water) who want to learn more about Lightroom.