Updated on November 16, 2020.
Because of the Scubanomics project and dive industry discussions, here, on Medium, I regularly get contacted by people interested in finding more information and statistics about the dive industry: private equity analysts, current dive industry executives, dive instructors considering a new local dive shop, students working on a thesis, private investors, dive shop owners trying to make sense of their financial results in a challenging scuba diving industry, dive gear manufacturers trying to grow their sales, and the list goes on.
They almost invariably ask me about a scuba diving industry market study they purchased that doesn't seem to match the reality they see happening in the dive industry.
Well… I got news for you: You’ve been conned!
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find dozens of these dive industry market studies promising astonishing growth in the years to come. Usually, these dive industry statistics are available for a price between US$2K and US$5K. They sold you the same rosy numbers in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. And they’ll sell you the same ones next year.
So… I got more news for you: Not everything you read on the internet is true!
You could have gotten as reliable dive industry statistics and market data by giving $40 to your local tarot card reader. By the way, if you are still feeling generous with spreading your money around, you are welcome to buying me a coffee, here.
Did you research the credibility of the ‘company’ to which you were willing to donate five thousand dollars? Let me help you by laying out signs that you were being conned. Then, we’ll look at where you can get real market data for the scuba diving industry.
Signs of Fake Scuba Diving Industry Market Statistics
There are plenty of signs that the dive industry market study you are about to purchase is anything but credible. You just have to take a step back to think about it.
The Forecast is Always What You Want To Hear
These tempting dive industry market studies always provide a ‘positive’ outlook for the dive industry. The scuba diving market statistics are always comforting in these reports.
That’s what you want to hear, right? You are looking at investing or improving the return on your investment in the dive industry, so you want the market to be growing. They wouldn’t try to sell you a market study with a decline in the dive industry — you would be less likely to buy it. It’s ‘Psychology 101’ followed by ‘How to manipulate buyers 102".
Every Industry Forecast on Their Website is Positive
Impressive! Apparently, we live in an era during which every product, in every industry, in every country is booming. Go ahead, invest in anything, and you’ll be rich! Yes, this is a sarcastic sentence. More to come!
Seriously, have you checked other market studies they offer on their website? It’s always good news. Every industry is booming, all the time, everywhere in the world.
This alone should be a red flag, don’t you think?
Their Dive Industry Statistics are Not Just Positive; They Are Over The Top
In press releases they post all over a bunch of dubious press release websites to boost their SEO, you read explosive sentences like:
- “Billion Dollar Global Business with Unlimited Potential”
- “Scuba Diving Equipment Market Is Set To Experience Revolutionary Growth By 2025”
Wow! Count me in! I’m selling my house and investing everything I have in that industry. Oh, but, wait… Every industry is like that, based on the market studies available on these websites. I really can invest in everything and anything! It’s so cool! I can’t wait to count my billions — especially my revolutionary billions!
Seriously… Do you know of any industry with ‘unlimited’ potential? If you do, let me know.
Cloning of Dive Industry Market Studies
Use big brother Google. You will find that the same report on scuba diving industry statistics is available on numerous websites under different market research company names.
New Scuba Diving Market Studies Every Week
Set up a Google Alert for anything pertaining to scuba diving. You will be notified of press releases every day about a new dive industry market study that looks quite similar to the one announced last week by a different ‘company.’
A Fishing Net as a ‘Sample’
Go ahead and ask for a ‘sample’, then look at it carefully.
Basically, what you get is an extensive table of content — in other words, you don’t get a sample of anything! Furthermore, it looks like they’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink in that table of content.
It seems as if they have taken every Google search keywords they can think of and made a chapter out of it. That way, there will be at least one chapter you are interested in.
This ‘table of content’ presented as a ‘sample’ is a giant fishing net to catch as many fish as possible. Wanna guess who is the fish?
Instant, Infinite Knowledge
After receiving such a ‘sample’, you will start getting daily email messages offering you the moon. The last time I played the game, these email messages kept asking what else I would like to see in the report for me to give them US$5000, today.
So… I asked!
I asked about dive regulators in the Republic of Tonga and BCDs in the city of Chicago. I got an email back within minutes stating they would add a chapter about that. Just like that!
They promised me one chapter would be added to cover what I asked. I wonder how they will mix statistics about scuba regulators in Tonga and BCDs in Chicago. It seems obvious to me that this email reply was an automatic reply. It doesn’t matter what you ask… They will promise you a chapter about it, right away, just like that, as soon as you send them five thousand dollars.
It must be great to have infinite, instant knowledge about everything, everywhere!
Fishy LinkedIn Profiles
Check the LinkedIn profile of the market research company wanting to get US$5K from you.
If you actually find a company profile, check who the employees are. Does it look credible?
Fortune 500 Clients but No Team
Check the ‘About Us’ page on their website. There’s never anybody named there. It’s all generic blah-blah.
They usually pretend to have provided market data reports to Fortune 500 companies, yet they have no sales representatives, no executives, no team...
As a general rule of thumb, an ‘About Us’ page that doesn’t tell us anything about who is behind a website is a reason to quickly quit that website — unless you like fishy deals!
If you have nothing to hide, you don’t hide.
Dive Industry Segmentation That Makes No Sense
Read the description of these market studies.
You will notice that these people are jam-packing the web page with SEO buzz words to maximize the chances that Google picks it up when you are googling for dive industry statistics. But many of the sentences don’t make any sense, grammatically or logically.
You will see statements putting scuba cylinders and DPVs into the same category of products regularly sold in retail stores. Recompression chambers are also sold in retail stores, apparently!
I recently read the summary of such a dive industry market study stating that the category of product ‘rebreathers’ included snorkels, regulators, and octopus while ‘apparel’ included BCDs.
Come on, people! I know you are eager to find scuba diving industry statistics that could give you hope, but… Do you answer the Nigerian government official telling you he has $10 million to transfer to you?
The Cherry on a Sunday of Nonsense
Of all the ridiculous announcements I’ve read about dive industry statistics offered by dubious market research companies, this one I just read today really impresses me because I think a kindergarten kid could have written something less ridiculous!
This is the headline of a press release published in ‘Aerospace Journal’ (I’m not kidding):
“Snorkeling Equipments Market 2020–2026 | XX% CAGR Projection Over the Next Five Years, Predicts Market Research Future According to Top Investors, Covering Sentimental Industry Analysis, Market Size & Growth”
Well… Eureka! I’ve been waiting to get a sentimental industry analysis by top investors!
Everything on that website and numerous other ones is very poorly translated into English.
Could you try to explain to me what this sentence means: “America accounts for the largest share of the dive tourism market, with the being one of the most significant sources of markets for dive tourism”? Or explain to me this gold nugget: “Rise in Prevalence of Depression That Boosts The Growth of Scuba Diving Gear Sales Market in Industry”? What? Say that again?
It appears the authors don’t bother using spellcheck nor grammar check. It seems to me that it’s all about using keywords to boost results in Google. They probably don’t expect anybody reading press releases on that bogus-looking website. Their goal is most likely to boost SEO for the main website selling market studies.
‘Aerospace Journal’ is a standard WordPress website (they didn’t even change the icon) created in 2017 that doesn’t seem to contain anything related to aerospace — just a series of ‘press releases’ about market research covering everything and anything. These press releases link to numerous ‘market research companies’ all selling the same stuff.
Here’s another example of non-sense I read recently in one of these dive industry market research: “In January 2018, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors launched the PADI Travel business aiming to boost growth in the dive industry and to keep divers more engaged and active.” Well… PADI Travel has been around forever. In January 2018, PADI acquired Diviac, an already existing company, and converted it to ‘PADI Travel’.
So… Are you willing to pay US$5000 for that kind of highly reliable and earth-shattering knowledge? Yes, this is another sarcastic question!
A Company Living in a Commune
If you manage to find an address for the company trying to get 5 thousand dollars from you, do a bit of digging on that address.
Typically, you will find that numerous ‘market research’ companies reside at the same address, all of them offering very similar market data and forecast reports — and you will rarely find any executive officers for these companies.
A Non-Existing Company
Once you have managed to find a company name and an address, perform a search in government records for that company. So far, I have never managed to find any of them in the corporate registry of the state they pretend to be operating out of.
The same applies to searches in Canada and England, where they often list addresses as well.
That, alone, is a huge red flag. Their operations are not just fishy; they also appear to be illegal.
Where Can I Get Reliable Scuba Diving Industry Statistics and Market Data?
There is a serious lack of available market data in the dive industry. But there are still some available statistics.
Let’s look at one source of credible, reliable, non-fake data: SFIA — the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.
SFIA publishes numerous annual reports. Two of these reports contain valuable data about scuba diving.
Let me emphasize the word ‘annual’. They publish these reports annually — not every week! They send a press release about it, once a year — not every week! Both of these highly valuable reports cost less than US$300. Let me repeat… These SFIA in-depth market research reports are full of valuable data, and they cost less than US$300 — not US$5000.
US$5000 is a racket, so it seems. I’m sure there is some psychological reason for it. It’s probably the maximum they think they can extract from their mark — you!
A Side Note about Universities & Colleges Wasting Money on Fake Data
Another sad reason for these ridiculous scuba diving industry market research reports to cost so much is that universities are dumb enough to buy them at that price! Recently, a student at UCLA asked for my advice on dive industry statistics he got from what was clearly a fake market research report — but that $5000 report had been purchased by the University of California, Los Angeles.
The people in charge of acquiring market data and statistics for universities and colleges probably have no idea about any of the industries for which they are buying reports. It’s easy to scam them!
Maybe I should produce a few of those reports and list them on Scubanomics.com… At least the money would remain in the dive industry! Seriously, this is ridiculous. But, anyways… Let’s get back to where you can get reliable dive industry market data.
Dive Industry Statistics & Market Data
Here is a list of resources to help you find statistics and market data about the scuba diving industry:
- About The Lack of Scuba Diving Industry Statistics & Market Data: This article will provide you with links to the SFIA reports mentioned above and numerous other sources of info.
- The Size of The Recreational Scuba Diving Industry: Different angles of analysis are used to estimate the size of the dive industry.
- Scuba Diving Participation Rate: Reliable sources are used to determine how many Americans participate in scuba diving and whether this number is growing or shrinking.
- Scuba Divers Dropout Rate: How many scuba divers continue to participate in the activity after obtaining their open water diver certification?
Of course, in 2020, the dive industry market statistics are quite different than anything we’ve seen before. The scuba diving industry's success is tightly linked to international travel, at a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We can see the impact of the pandemic on the scuba diving industry in 2 recently published set of data:
- Market Data — Scuba Diving Certifications in the USA in 2020: Open water dive certifications for the first 9 months of 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Scubapro’s Worldwide Financial Results for The First Half of 2020: Worldwide sales of scuba diving equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Otherwise, contact me if you are serious about studying the dive industry and preparing a business plan based on reality.
Final Word on Dive Industry Statistics and Market Studies
Just like anything else in life, if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably… A racket.
If you want actionable market information for your scuba diving industry business plan, you will have to work for it. The list of links above is a starting point.
Otherwise, next time you feel like wasting US$5000, please contact me. For half that price, I’ll take a few minutes to put together the feel-good report you are looking for. Alternatively, you can do it yourself with a random number generator. There are a few tools available, free, on the internet. I would start at Random.org.
I also have a magnificent private island to sell in the Republic of Nonekistan in the Pacific Ocean. For you… US$ 5000.