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Cayman Dive Operators Shore Up 2017 Tourism Season at DEMA

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A successful trip to the annual Dive Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) show in Las Vegas November 16 – 19 helped Cayman’s dive operators get a jump on 2017. More than 10,000 dive industry professionals from across the globe gathered for the annual convention – industry news is shared, new equipment is introduced, promotions are launched and friendships are renewed – all which invigorate the dive industry before the new year.

In Las Vegas Cayman celebrated the 60th anniversary of the birth of recreational diving in the Cayman Islands by Caymanian pioneer and International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame member Bob Soto. It also promoted the opening of the ISDHOF permanent exhibit in the Cayman Islands Museum in George Town and announced its newest members to be inducted in Grand Cayman in September 2017. A photo booth in the Cayman pavilion added fun and helped get people in a celebratory mood, always good for doing business.

“For Divetech it went really well. We made some bookings and have a lot of people to follow up with, and we even made a booking for 2018!” said Divetech Managing Partner Jo Mikutowicz. “I thought the Cayman isle in general looked great, the photo booth was a lot of fun and the DOT had some great promotion material that I found myself using quite a bit.”

“We had a great DEMA, with everyone appreciating our “Back to the 80s package” celebrating Red Sail Sports 30th Anniversary in 2017. I wouldn’t say it was busier or less busy than previous years but the quality of inquiries was good,” added Sarah-Jane Harlan, Red Sail Sports Marketing Manager.

DEMA is also an opportunity for dive professionals to meet the movers and shakers in the diving industry through seminars, panels, parties and other social events – all important for staying in touch with travel trends and industry news. Some dive operators said was the best DEMA in recent years, and their booth traffic reflected that. Cayman tourism officials predict increased tourism numbers in 2017 with the opening of new resorts in Cayman and improvements to the airport.

“I did think it was good… and we did make some bookings,” said Neil van Niekerk of the Southern Cross Club. “No way to tell in the current political climate if anyone will travel for sure, but that’s not our fault – I think Cayman did a great job.”

“It was lucrative enough that we signed up for next year already, and this is before we have even had a chance to follow up with the 50+ people we need to send more information too,” said Mikutowicz.

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Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados

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In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.


Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.

For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)

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Introduced by Jeff Goodman

Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.

A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.

CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.


Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.

During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!

Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.


For more information about the CCMI click here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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