How Can You Be Prepared for Chinese Tourists?

chinese-studentsThe 2015 Lunar New Year (most commonly known as Chinese New Year) — the Year of the Goat, begins on February 19 and lasts for 15 days. Chinese New Year is celebrated over a 7-day public holiday in China. It is the most significant holiday of the year in China where avid Chinese travellers take advantage of this time to plan their vacation. To attract the Chinese market you need a strategy in welcoming the Chinese tourist – and not just once a year.

Currently holders of a Chinese passport have access to 45 countries visa free, with most of these countries located in South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

To attract Chinese consumers, you have to make an effort to understand the Chinese customer and make some relatively cost-effective additions to your dive store experience in order to welcome them.

Here are a few things that nearly any medium to large-scale dive centre can do to make their dive store a destination for Chinese travellers – all year around.

1)    Signage. Make sure there is prominent signage in Simplified Chinese at the entrance to your store. During the Chinese New Year period, put Chinese signage on the shop front and make sure visual merchandising themes are translated.

  • Download the Chinese New Year poster to promote PADI Discover Scuba Diving in Simplified Chinese
  • Download the Chinese New Year poster to promote PADI Discover Scuba Diving in Traditional Chinese
  • Download the Chinese New Year poster to promote PADI Open Water Diver Course in Simplified Chinese
  • Download the Chinese New Year poster to promote PADI Open Water Diver Course in Traditional Chinese

For high-resolution versions of the above posters, please email PADI Asia Pacific Marketing.

2)    Speak Their Language. Have at least one employee who speaks Mandarin fluently and empower them with discount cards and/or Gifts-With-Purchase to incentivize them to shop.

3)    Make them a VIP. Use the store’s member’s lounge or create a space where Chinese tourists can sit privately with a cup of tea, cookies, and receive one-on-one ‘clienteling’.

4)    Partner with Hotels. Work closely with the concierges at the city’s key hotels and give them brochures and VIP cards to give to Chinese tourists and tour operators.

5)    Explain the Value of Your Brand. The Chinese are familiar with the PADI brand and its association with quality. Make sure to tell your dive sites’ attractions, any special BBQs, dive packages and the available Mandarin speaking staff support should they need assistance. If you sell dive equipment, highlight the fact that all of the brands you carry are guaranteed authentic. Should your customers have further questions regarding their certification cards, provide them with PADI’s contact as PADI Asia Pacific office has Mandarin speaking staff or the PADI office in Shenzhen, China will be able to assist.

Chinese customers are increasing, so embrace this opportunity as the number of travellers continue to grow!


Want to train more PADI Dive Professionals in 2015?

GetALife-GoPRO_CMYK_ReverseIf attracting more divers to sign up for PADI professional level courses is in your business plan for 2015 then why not run a PADI ‘Go Pro’ event with your Regional Manager?

Many people decide even before they learn to dive that this is the path for them however some divers may need some further information to know what their options are and also what opportunities await them as PADI Professionals.

Conducting a Go Pro event enables you to invite potentially interested parties along for a relaxed and informative evening. Your Regional Manager can assist with the presentation and provide information about the PADI benefits for members.

Involving previous students currently working in the industry both part-time and full-time by inviting them to come along to be interviewed live or via Skype is also a fantastic way to encourage divers to sign up, and gives more opportunity for questions to be answered

These events can be for divers of any level and you can promote anything from the PADI Divemaster programme up to and including the PADI Instructor Specialties and IDC Staff Instructor if your facility can offer these programmes.

For more information on conducting one of these events contact your PADI Regional Manager.

Passions of Paradise in Cairns help volunteers to understand the Reef

Passions  Eye on the ReefAround 400 student volunteers who are learning about sustainable travel will visit the Great Barrier Reef with Passions of Paradise – a PADI Dive Boat Operator – during their stay in Cairns later this year.

Passions of Paradise Sales and Marketing Manager Adam O’Malley said the United States-based international volunteer program ISV had selected Passions of Paradise to host the students during their four-week trip to Australia.

“Groups of the students will arrive from June to September and their stay in Cairns will include a day trip on the Passions of Paradise catamaran to two pristine Great Barrier Reef locations,” he said.

ISV International Program Director Narelle Webber said ISV’s responsible adventure travel programs aimed to educate and inspire student volunteers to become more active global citizens.

“We selected Passions of Paradise to show the students the Great Barrier Reef as Passions is a like-minded company which will pass on the values of sustainable travel while offering a personalised adventure experience,” she said.

“We were impressed with Passions’ commitment to the Great Barrier Reef by becoming carbon neutral, assisting in the Reef’s conservation and sharing that passion with passengers by educating them about the World Heritage area they were visiting.”

Mr O’Malley said an eco-guide would give the students an informative briefing on the way to the Reef so they would understand the ecosystem they were about to experience.

“Passions of Paradise offers passengers the opportunity to participate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Eye on the Reef program which the students may wish to participate in,” he said.

“We also raise awareness of the issues facing sharks with the on-board Save A Shark Program. Through this program, Passions has donated $25,000 in funds for student research into sharks.”

“As a small local owned company Passions of Paradise is proud to be giving back to the environment we work in and it is really rewarding to win a new customer like ISV based purely on our company’s commitment to operating sustainably on the Great Barrier Reef.”

The company’s commitment to research, education and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef has earned Passions of Paradise the 2014 Queensland Tourism Award and the 2014 Tropical North Queensland Tourism Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism, Ecotourism Australia’s 2013 Innovation in Ecotourism Award and to be selected as a 100% AWARE Partner through nonprofit environmental organization Project AWARE.

Manta Lodge & Scuba Centre Upgrades to PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort

Congratulations to Manta Lodge & Scuba Centre who upgraded from 5 Star Dive Resort to PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort in December 2014.

Opened in 1992, Manta Lodge YHA and Stradbroke Island Scuba Centre is located right on the beach at beautiful Point Lookout, offering daily scuba dive and snorkel trips, all levels of scuba instruction and quality budget beachfront accommodation

PADI Five Star Instructor Development Dive Resorts are dive resorts that meet all PADI Five Star Dive Resort standards, plus offer PADI instructor-level training. With a PADI Course Director on staff, these dive businesses offer PADI Instructor Development Courses and continuing education opportunities to dive professionals.

Find out more about Manta Lodge & Scuba Centre via;


For information about upgrading your PADI Dive Centre, contact PADI Retail and Resort Associations Manager, Mark Cummins –

Revised PADI Open Water Diver Course Skills – Member Videos

A range of PADI Members were BETA testers in 2014 for the revised PADI Open Water Diver program. Below are some of their suggestions on a range of different skills.

The hints and tips presented in the video are not the only acceptable techniques to meet the performance requirements – they are merely suggestions. Please reference your PADI Instructor Manual for the specific skill standards and the PADI’s Guide to Teaching for additional suggestions and techniques. You can also contact your PADI Regional Headquarters’ Training Department if you have questions.

Visit the PADI Pro YouTube Channel for more PADI Pro video.


PADI ReActivate Q&A – “Is ReActivate™ Deactivating Certification Cards?”

PADI ReActivate™ has already been out for a few months and some questions are being raised about the “ReActivated thru” portion of the certification cards. Here are some of the most common questions:

Is PADI “deactivating” certifications?

No. PADI certifications don’t expire and PADI ReActivate participation is not mandatory. Divers completing both knowledge and inwater skill refreshers receive a replacement certification card with a “ReActivated thru” date on it. The card also shows the original certification date, and divers can still present a logbook to show recent activity.

Rather than an apparent “expiration date,” wouldn’t it be better to put “Remember to refresh your skills and knowledge after a period of inactivity” on the card as a reminder?

The date is simply a reminder that divers may need to do something. If divers have been diving frequently, the “ReActivated thru” date may not apply, instead acting as a reminder that divers may need to consider the interval since their last activity before diving again. This is similar to the two-year retraining window on Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care. You would still use those skills in an emergency even if you haven’t taken a refresher in the last two years; but the date is a reminder that you probably want to refresh them.


Watch for more questions and answers about PADI ReActivate in the next edition of Surface Interval.