It’s not a “dive trip” it’s an Eco-Adventure
Green tourism now accounts for more than 20% of international travel and is one of the fastest-growing travel markets. Islands magazine recently devoted an entire issue to eco-vacations and a recent survey by the Travel Industry Association showed that 50% of respondents would prefer a trip that offered conservation opportunities.
“Green” is in, and Project AWARE makes it easy to turn your next dive trip into an eco-adventure. Here are a few ideas:
In pre-trip emails. Challenge divers to “Make Your Dives Count. Monitor Coral Reefs”
(Link to: http://www.projectaware.org/americas/english/coral-watch/)
Offer the AWARE Coral Reef specialty in conjunction with a pre-trip meeting. This non-diving specialty is a great way for all your travelers to get more from their experience. The Coral Reef CD-ROM (70809) includes slides and videos for the two-hour knowledge development. You can also distribute Coral Watch Cards for students to use on their trip (more on this later).
Encourage Open Water Divers to try an Eco-Advanced class. In addition to the Deep and Nav adventure dives, the student can pick from “eco-AWARE” adventure dives such as: Fish ID, Peak Performance Buoyancy, or Digital Underwater Photography. When you process the student’s PIC, opt for the Project AWARE certification card (a $5 upgrade).
Invite divers to participate in CoralWatch:
Getting divers involved in CoralWatch activities reinforces their responsibility as ambassadors to the underwater world and allows them to participate in important research.
During dives or snorkeling excursions, participants match the color of the coral with a corresponding color on the CoralWatch card. Next they record the color code along on coral type on a data sheet. The data collected goes into the CoralWatch database which is used by scientists to study coral bleaching and recovery patterns.
For more information or to register as a CoralWatch Dive Operator, just visit the CoralWatch page at the Project AWARE website.
PADI Diving Society Members who enroll in an AWARE specialty qualify for a free gift from PADI (pictured right). Students must submit a Specialty of the Month redemption form and a receipt showing proof of purchase (training and AWARE manual) from a PADI Dive Center or Resort.