Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Rob Scammell
In recent years we have heard a great deal about the ‘waking lion’, aka China, with many businesses showing incredible growth by expanding into this emerging market that has taken the world, including the diving industry, by storm.
We now have the awakening of the ‘sleeping tiger’, which is India. This is a market that is growing rapidly in both domestic and international regions with many dive businesses in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka reporting a rapid growth of inbound tourists from India.
According to a CNN Money report, India has the fastest economic growth in the last quarter of 2017 showing economic growth of 7.2%, which is faster than China’s growth in the same period and a big jump from the 6.5% India recorded in the previous quarter. India is further expected to widen the gap over China with the international monetary fund predicting it will grow by 7.4% this year.
Given the economic growth and the increased outbound tourism from Indian nationals, this is a fantastic opportunity for PADI Members to get on board and offer services to this interested group.
There are some advantages to this market over others. Firstly language; although India has 22 official languages and another 1652 mother tongues, English is widely used as a key language of communication. This obviously helps with communicating your messages.
Secondly, people from India rarely travel alone and quite commonly they travel in groups with family or friends, creating an opportunity for you to introduce diving to more than one person at a time.
Many established dive centres in India already have outbound tourism departments specialising in overseas dive travel experience. A great way to increase your customer base would be to establish links with these businesses to encourage them to bring their diving groups to your operation. Dive shows are also appearing in India which are a great opportunity to visit, make contacts and have a business presence.
So now, in fact, could be the time for your business to enjoy the ride, which is the ‘awakening tiger’ of India.
For more information on this market you can contact Robert Scammell, PADI Regional Training Consultant for India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – firstname.lastname@example.org.