Even though water sports overall had an increase in U.S. participation rates during 2021, the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, scuba diving participation decreased by 8.8 percent from 2019 to 2021.
According to Kieran:
“For more than a decade, scuba diving has been continuously losing ground year after year, going, for instance, from 3.1 million participants in 2016 to 2.7 in 2019 (pre-pandemic) and only 2.5 in 2021 (second year of the pandemic).”
While Kieran noted a small participation jump by “core divers” during 2020, that number decreased the following year. He posits that: “The dive industry is simply not satisfying today’s consumers.”
“It’s time to stop pretending that we are innovating because we moved a few commas in a scuba diving textbook or changed the color of a regulator. The entire business model needs to be redesigned from scratch. We are not in the 1980s anymore.”
Check out Kieran’s full column here.