Newer Recreational Divers prefer shipwreck dives over anything else
Out of Barbados and the University of Hull comes a study showing that newer recreational divers vastly prefer to dive on shipwrecks rather than in natural reef areas.
That is good to know because if Barbados sinks some ships and airplanes in a few spots off the coast, we’d be able to attract more tourists to the island and at the same time protect the natural reefs through concentrating less-experienced divers where they can do the least harm to the natural environment.
That makes sense to me…
“Diver damage can be a real problem in the most popular dive sites but our study shows that artificial reefs could be an important tool for managing the impacts of dive tourism.”
“The fact that many divers report high satisfaction from diving on artificial reefs shows that dive tourism can be successful without depending on the most sensitive, natural reef sites.”
… from the University of Hull Barbados diving study (online here)
Divers bring dollars…
“Novice and experienced divers were evenly represented in the study providing a diversity of views relating to artificial reef diving. Indeed, over half of all non-resident divers surveyed were return visitors, with some individuals having over thirty previous visits to Barbados. The study by Schuhmann et al. revealed a similar trend in return visits, with half of their sample having had previous trips to the island. The provision of well conceived artificial reef diving sites, such as those situated within the Carlisle Bay area, appeared to influence the decision of some divers in this present study to visit Barbados.”
Every leader in tourism and business should read this new study. Our Tourism Minister should make up his mind to do something, and get a project going now. Let’s find an old warship or small freighter and see what the cost will be to transport it here, get it ready and then have a big party to sink it.
If we’d have devoted our money to establishing long-term quality tourist attractions instead of spending a million dollars to have Rihanna writhe around half naked, we might enjoy some lasting benefits instead of the BTA’s preferred ‘quick hit’ for cash that is good for a week or two and then fades.