The family travel market is set to boom. According to a late 2016 survey by the Family Travel Association (FTA Survey), this market segment is poised for significant growth. The main reason, the survey says, is consumer interest in spending quality time traveling together as a family. And what better way is there to spend time together than to dive together? Being in a position to accommodate traveling families is a solid growth strategy. Here are five ways to do just that.
- Note that simple solutions often work well. If a family has young children, one of the most valuable services you can offer is babysitting. Combine that with a family friendly shop or resort and you have a winning formula without a lot of effort.
- Ask yourself if you have the right skills, attitude and expertise. Working with children can be demanding. It requires patience, reliability and the ability to form positive relationships. Most PADI Pros are well able to do this, but if you don’t think you’re the right person for the job, hire someone who is.
- Make sure you and your dive shop meet any relevant legal requirements. You’ll need to check locally, but PADI has a great reference to get you going in the right direction: Children and Scuba Diving: a Resource Guide for Instructors and Parents.
- Listen to the advice of your fellow PADI Pros, if you don’t have one nearby who loves working with families, reach out on a forum, or get in touch with your PADI RTC who will certainly be able to steer you straight. Better yet, make the time to attend a PADI Business Academy, which makes a fine art of networking with peers.
- Listen to the current advice and tips about kids and diving, and traveling families who want to go diving together. It’s all over the web and easy to find, start with this blog Family Vacation Travel Tips for Scuba Divers and this one Scuba Diving Kids: 5 Questions for Parents. Then ask yourself if your operation ticks all the right boxes.
When you’ve done all that, don’t forget to let people know. Families doing their vacation research will respond well to a dedicated section of your website pointing out all the benefits you’ve put in place. Then just shake out the welcome mat.