It has taken less than two decades for the Asia’s diving economy, especially in China, to witness substantial change. Commercial development has pushed diving from a general leisure sport to a national sport promoted by the government for everyone. In other countries, diving operators sometimes see their business as a sideline; but in China, more people are willing to take it on as a full-time career, a development that is driving the whole industry. The Chinese State Sports General Administration has estimated that the size of the water sports industry could reach 300 billion RMB in revenue by 2020.
I believe no other country in the world has seen water sports develop as quickly as in China. And we are not just talking about scuba diving; both free diving and technical diving are growing much faster than in neighboring countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. There are now over 200 dive clubs in mainland China, and the number of diving instructors will soon exceed the total number of those in Hong Kong, Taiwan and other regions.
Everyone craves a slice of this giant pie but how much can you take? China has a vast market that other countries cannot duplicate but trust me; China is no longer what it used to be. Chinese divers are demanding better service, better products, and better knowledge. Can our homegrown businesses provide these things? The DRT Show in Shanghai next year will have more than 400 booths making it Asia’s largest diving show. Are you up for it??
The future of diving will be an intensely competitive market. When you enter it, make sure you clearly understand your product and what differentiates it from others. Do not offer cheap, but aim for higher quality. Create your own brand, look beyond just competing on price by picking the right platform and right partners, and making full use of all available resources. By working this way, you have the best chance for infinite development, and that might make you a winner.