Scuba Diving Businesses Grapple With the Pandemic’s Effects

A host of industrywide issues

Scuba companies are facing a host of issues during the pandemic.
Maarten van den Heuvel/Unsplash

From museums to movie theaters to amusement parks, the pandemic has reshaped the way people engage in various leisure activities. When it comes to the more athletic side of leisure, many of the same concerns come to the foreground. But what about scuba diving? On the surface of things, it might seem like an activity less fraught than most, at least in certain ways. But a new article at The Washington Post explores the ways in which the scuba industry has had to undergo some radical shifts in the last few months.

The article, by Erin E. Williams, offers the perspective of numerous people within the scuba diving community. Williams writes that scuba companies have had to deal with a paradox: some have been adversely affected by the cancelation of vacations plans, while others have been able to draw an audience due to the innately socially distanced qualities of scuba diving.

As diving instructor Douglas Ebersole phrased it, scuba diving is already an industry where the care and handling of equipment is vitally important. “Dive shops and instructors are accustomed to meeting lots of other health and safety regulations,” Ebersole said.

Still, many of the companies profiled in the article have had to deal with substantial losses of business — a familiar situation during the pandemic, to be sure, but one that’s in a slightly different arena here. And at least some of the companies have figured out how to make parts of their business — from diving courses to dives themselves — virtual.

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