Operators celebrate a good year and look ahead with new dive packages and products
Cayman’s dive industry shored up business for 2015 and thanked travel partners for their support during a solid 2014 at the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) trade show in Las Vegas last month. Red Sail Sports, Sunset House and Divetech joined the Department of Tourism and others to promote Cayman’s exceptional diving and top-notch hospitality industry at the Cayman Islands pavilion. Southern Cross Club’s Neil van Niekerk was there to represent the Sister Islands. The Cayman section was located in a prime spot near some big names in diving so it enjoyed good traffic during the international dive show. DEMA is the premier event for introducing 2015 dive packages, deals and new products.
“We booked a lot of business the first two days – by 10:10 a.m. on the first day we already had our first group booked,” said Sunset House General Manager Keith Sahm. “We were very happy with DEMA, which is the largest scuba show in the world, so this is where we needed to be to show off Cayman’s world class diving.”
Red Sail Sports introduced a new Go Pro video camera program for next year and the dive company also launched a new Referral Program for U.S. dive shops. Sales and Marketing Manager Sarah-Jane Whitehill said both were well received, generating buzz at the show for the new products.
“The show is a great opportunity for us network with existing partners and meet potential new clients,” she said. “We also keep up with the latest developments in the industry by attending educational seminars and social events.”
DEMA was also a time to celebrate the end of a good year for tourism in the Cayman Islands. The latest statistics from the Department of Tourism show a 12% jump in the number of stay over visitors to the Cayman Islands. Dive operators say 2014 is closing out as a solid year for business and they anticipate a busy 2015. Divetech was also celebrating a special award from the Cayman Islands for its conservation efforts. Owner Nancy Easterbrook missed the show’s opening day because she was still on Grand Cayman receiving the Governor’s Corporate Conservation Award.
"Divetech was very pleased and humbled to have received the Conservation Corporate Award of the year, it's a great honor, and of course the recognition for the sustainable efforts is extremely rewarding,” said Easterbrook. “We were in great company and it's exciting to see all of the businesses that are really working hard to make a difference on reducing impacts on our oceans and planet… it's heart warming."
Ocean conservation is a critical concern for DEMA members worldwide and the show hosted several seminars on the subject. Cayman representatives also had the opportunity to hear from industry experts on topics that included dive safety and marketing. Alongside the show exhibits, industry manufacturers demonstrated new dive gear and photography equipment.
“The DEMA show is our major business to business show,” said Director of Tourism Rosa Harris in a video statement from the show. “We are here to ensure we shore up business for 2015 and continue to maintain key dive relationships.”
The Department of Tourism partners with Cayman’s dive operators to promote the destination through a number of events and programs, including hosting the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. Scuba industry pioneers inducted into the hall of fame in October during the inaugural “Legends and Lions” scuba festival stopped by the Cayman pavilion to greet the public and take photos at the Hall of Fame booth. Plans are already in the works for 2015’s scuba celebration.
The Cayman Bottom Times is news collaboration by five leading dive operators to promote the superb diving of the Cayman Islands, and keep the diving public informed of important developments and events. Divetech, Ocean Frontiers, Red Sail Sports and Sunset House in Grand Cayman, and the Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman, all members of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, represent more than 100 years of solid experience in a destination that is recognized as the birthplace of recreational diving. With a unique combination of deep wall and shallow reef diving, several wrecks, and world-famous Stingray City, the Cayman Islands has cemented its place as the top diving destination in the Caribbean.
Offering diverse and wide-ranging dive programs on both Grand Cayman and Little Cayman, the members of this dive group represent the best Cayman has to offer; Divetech (www.divetech.com), Ocean Frontiers (www.oceanfrontiers.com), Red Sail Sports Grand Cayman (www.redsailcayman.com), Sunset House (www.sunsethouse.com) and the Southern Cross Club (www.southerncrossclub.com).
Media Contact: Adela Gonzales White at Adela.G.White@comcast.net or call (941) 350-8735.