Hidden Islands of India.

Lakshadweep IslandsLakshsadweep Islands

Lying 300klm of the coast of Cochin is the true hidden beauty of India. Once controlled by the Indian Government, the Lakshadweep islands are now officially open to tourists, and I personally hope the administration regulates the island and it’s visitors correctly, ensuring the true beauty of this hidden paradise remains untouched.

Realizing the importance of tourism, the Government now wish to help promote the islands so they can comfortable sustain themselves, and become one of the leading diving destinations in the world “and trust me, with 80-100 metre visibility and untouched reefs, they will certainly give some of the leading diving destinations a run for their money”.

Out of the 36 islands, 12 being are the main ones to visit, 4 are inhabited and the rest home to loacal villagers (total population 65,000) two of these islands (Kalpeni and Kavaratti) still only remain open to Indian nationals and permission is only granted by Administration  invite/obtaining a Government permit. The local religion is 90% Muslim, with an alcohol ban enforced on the islands.

The main language for the islands is Malayalam which is spoken through out the islands, with English being spoken throughout, thanks to the British Empire, the locals learned to communicate during past trade routes.

The Islands are only accessible by Boat, Helicopter or plane. The boat trip is an 18 hour journey, and departs every other day from Cochin,  however not in Monsoon season, so the best time to visit is the islands are March to October. The helicopter must be pre-booked through the Government, and is a 2 hour flight, operating all year round.

Scuba Diving will be the main tourist attraction, with other Marine water sports being offered, such as wind surfing, surfing and snorkeling.

The diving is truly out of this world, During my first dive “Tony Andrews PADI Regional Manager”, I witnessed 30 Hawskbill and Green Sea turtles, and at least 40 giant Napoleon Rass, I have to admire there curiosity during the dive.

Eagle rays, Manta’s are commonly seen around the islands of Minicoy, which believe it or not used to be the capital island of the Maldives, Many years ago.

The Indian Government have just implemented a fishing ban to help protect Whale sharks, as it’s thought to be one of the only places known for Whale sharks mating.

As well as the above, the reefs are in pristine condition, with many sites literally a 10 minute boat ride away from the pure blue lagoons, the variety of the dives provide an all round attraction for divers, from Wreck diving, Wall diving, Drift and of course deep dives, with some of the drop offs reaching 300+ metres, perfect for Tec exploration.

Are you ready for the Chinese New Year?

New PADI Chinese Discover Scuba Diving Flip Chart Available 

The new Chinese Discover Scuba Diving Flip Chart (Product No. 60109C) is now available in Asia Pacific.

Order today to ensure delivery in time for the New Year holiday period.

Don`t forget to order the DSD brochures (product 61200C) as well as other Chinese PADI student material.

For more information and to order – contact PADI Sales Department  (tel + 61 2 9454 2823) or order anytime from the online shopping cart

60109C_L

ScubaEarth™ Spotlight: Promoting Your Online Presence

Make sure ScubaEarth users can find you and join your Dive Crew by promoting your online presence. One of the best ways to get the word out is to create dive sites and log dives in ScubaEarth.

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For each dive site you establish, your name appears with a link back to your profile – providing credibility and the opportunity for leadership within the community. You need the latitude and longitude for each location to create dive sites on the community map. Quickly setting up as many accurate dive sites as possible will help maximize your exposure. One note – make sure you don’t duplicate dive sites. You can edit sites that exist but have incorrect information.

Logging dives is another opportunity to promote your online presence. Research shows that the top reason users want to visit ScubaEarth is for real-time dive information and weather conditions. Frequently logging dives shows you’re an active, engaged dive professional. So when users search the community map for recently logged dives, they’ll see your entries with links back to your profile. Remember: every logged dive is an opportunity to put your store profile in front of users and potential customers. Being as detailed as possible when setting up dive sites and logging dives will help you become an authoritative presence on ScubaEarth.

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You can also use your existing social media accounts to help spread the word. Announce your ScubaEarth presence on your website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter account, then ask friends to click on the link and connect with your profile.

If you haven’t already set up your profile, do so today. You can also download the easy-to-use booklet, How To Set Up Your ScubaEarth Profile (PADI Pros’ Site login required – 11 Mb PDF), to guide you through the process.

 

How can you achieve greater reach on Facebook for your dive shop?

This very useful Mashable article details five tips that will help maximize your brands Facebook reach. Ultimately, Facebook wants people engaging with content and therefore those who post the best content on a regular basis will achieve greatest reach. This article highlights three important factors that determines the most screen worthy content on the Facebook newsfeed: affinity, weight and time.  Affinity refers to how a fan has engaged with your brand in the past. Weight refers to the number of likes and comments a post receives. Lastly, as time passes, content ages and the total engagement of a post declines.

Mashable suggest five ways to help expand your brand’s reach on Facebook:

  1. Know your audience
    Have an understanding of what your fans like and what will generate the most engagement.
  2. Practice brevity, be topical and don’t play hard to get
    Studies show that lengthy Facebook posts go unread, so keep your posts succinct.
  3. Mind your content
    Quality content is very important. Eye catching photos, topical content and posts that ask questions are great ways to engage with your fans.
  4. Engage the engagement
    By interacting with those who have liked a post or left comments your are ensuring the popularity of a post is prolonged. In addition, fans will be appreciative that your are listening!
  5.  Turn your fan’s friends into fans.
    By keeping your fans engaging with your Facebook page, their friends will also see this in their news feed.  Another strategy is to use Facebook ads to specifically targets friends of your fans.

By using these guidelines you can better disseminate your content and maximise your brands Facebook reach.

You can read the full Mashable article by clicking below

http://mashable.com/2012/05/24/facebook-reach/