The uberization of the diving world
The advent of digital platforms and mobile applications has transformed the way we do business and access services. One industry that has seen significant disruption in recent years is scuba diving, thanks to the emergence of online platforms that offer on-demand access to dive operators, guides, and instructors.
This phenomenon has been described as the “Uberization” of the diving industry, which draws parallels with the rise of Uber and other ride-hailing platforms that have transformed the transportation industry.
The Uber model uses a mobile application that connects users with service providers in real-time, based on their location and specific needs. The platform typically operates on a commission-based model, where service providers pay the platform a huge percentage of their earnings in exchange for access to customers and other support services.
In the diving Industry: What is going on?
In the diving industry, the uberization trend has been driven by the growth of online platforms that allow divers to find and book diving trips, courses, and services from various providers worldwide. These platforms offer real-time booking, reviews and ratings, and secure payment systems, making it easier for divers to find and book the needed services.
These platforms offer dive operators new opportunities to reach a wider audience and market their services to potential customers. They also provide access to valuable customer data and insights, enabling operators to improve their marketing and service delivery strategies.
In addition to these online platforms, the uberization trend has also seen the rise of freelance dive instructors who work independently rather than being tied to a specific dive center or resort. These instructors often rely on online platforms to market their services and connect with clients, like how Uber drivers use the app to find and connect with passengers.
The uberization of the diving industry has certainly provided new opportunities for divers and businesses alike. However, there are also concerns about issues such as safety, quality control, and regulation.
The Dark Side and the bad players :
One concern is that the emphasis on real-time booking and service access could lead to a lack of oversight and accountability. Divers may be more likely to book services from providers they know little about, and providers may be more willing to take risks to secure bookings and generate revenue.
Another concern is that the proliferation of online platforms and freelance instructors could lead to a race to the bottom regarding pricing and quality. With so many providers competing for business, there may be pressure to offer lower prices or cut corners regarding safety and service quality.
The consumer needs to choose a reputable platform that will control the quality of service provided by the dive centre or instructors available on their system to ensure the safety of all.
At Manta Dive Komodo, we are passionate about exploring the underwater world and sharing its beauty with others. We firmly believe in sustainable diving practices that prioritize marine ecosystem conservation.
That’s why we are deeply concerned about the industrialization of the diving industry in Komodo National Park. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of diving operators, many of whom prioritize profit over environmental protection.
Two such operators are part of the issue in Labuan Bajo and must be avoided, which have been the subject of much controversy in the diving community. They have been accused of engaging in unsustainable practices, including overcrowding dive sites, harassing marine life, damaging fragile coral reefs, not respecting the ratio of guest per guide, and most important, offering non enough experience divers to quite serious dive sites such as North Komodo, and all of it for profit.
As a responsible and ethical dive center, we stand firmly against such practices with the local community and some dive centers we are working with. We believe in small-group diving, which minimizes our environmental impact and allows us to provide a more personalized and enjoyable experience for our guests.
We urge our fellow dive operators to prioritize the conservation of the marine ecosystem and to work towards sustainable and responsible diving practices.
Together, we can protect the wonders of Komodo National Park and ensure that future generations can continue to explore and appreciate its beauty.
The bright light of the new comers:
Some service providers have established a quality chart that must be followed by the independent instructor or dive center. It guarantees the best interests of the customers and their safety. It can be controlled using mystery customers.
Finally, there are regulatory issues to consider. As with other industries, the rise of digital platforms has challenged existing regulatory frameworks, leading to debates around how best to balance innovation and consumer choice with public safety.
In conclusion, the uberization of the diving industry has brought many benefits, including greater access to services and new opportunities for divers and businesses. However, some challenges and risks must be addressed to ensure these benefits are balanced with appropriate oversight and protections for all stakeholders. As the trend continues to evolve, it will be essential to keep these issues in mind and work together to find solutions that benefit everyone in the industry.
These bad practices would be resolved quickly if each diver considered the best practices instead of prices. We hope not to see our land of Komodo National Park is like Gili islands with everything dead…