The latest DEMA Certification Census numbers indicate that the long awaited turn around in the dive industry has begun. Certification agencies participating in the Census have reported a 10% increase in certifications for the 1st quarter and a 7% increase for the 2nd quarter of 2004 as compared to the same quarters in 2003. During the 1st quarter of 2004 a total of 31,765 unique certifications were reported as compared to 28,899 for the 1st quarter of 2003. During the 2nd quarter of 2004 there were 48,987 unique certifications as compared to 46,282 for the 2nd quarter 2003. In total during the first half of 2004 the Certified Diver Count was 80,752. These numbers reflect unique dive certification counts, eliminating any duplicates – that is certifications reported by more than one certifying agency.
Starting in 2003 all training agencies were invited to report their numbers through the DEMA Certification Census. The certifying agencies reporting on the first and second quarter figures for 2004 are NAUI, PADI, SDI/TDI and SSI. The same agencies reported quarterly certification numbers starting in 2003. Although no quarterly figures were available before 2003, these agencies reported their yearly totals dating back to 2000.
"This increase in the number of people being certified reported by these four certifying agencies can be viewed as an early indicator that the long awaited turn around in the dive industry is upon us," says Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. "It reflects the upturn in the economy and growing consumer confidence, which reached the highest point in two years this past July, the marketing efforts of the entire diving industry as well as the impact of a concentrated effort launched eighteen months ago by DEMA to build the business."