Un plongeur derrière des gorgones

Focus on the diving sector in France.

I was recently reading an article about the decline of the diving sector in France tourism on the Var coast, which for the summer of 2018 would drop by 12%.

The stated causes of this slowdown in diving activity in this region being targeted by the journalist as being multiple:

  • A general decline in popularity of diving activity that is no longer put forward in the media
  • Competition with destinations returning strong after years spent being shunned by divers: Egypt, Spain, …
  • Temporary problems such as the SNCF strikes or the 2018 World Cup. Which would have had the effect of reducing holiday departures
  • A shift of the season which would start later but would extend until November


Un plongeur sur un tombant à Nice


Returning from the south of France where I took a lot of pleasure to dive. I still ask myself the question of whether these reasons alone explain the decrease of frequentation of the dive shops in the Var. (and perhaps more largely of South of France?). Or could we also think about the structural functioning of the dive business in France.

In Focus about the diving sector in France

  • How is the diving sector in France organized ? Is it still relevant? Is entrepreneurship sufficiently present?
  • The Sport Code, which gives access to the profession only to people holding a “Brevet d”etat”. And the tensions between certification agencies do not prevent the emergence of healthy competition. In terms of quality and innovation in French diving centers?
  • Prices in diving centers (50 to 70 € for a try scuba dive and 35 euros for regular dives) cumulated with those of tourism during the summer season on the Mediterranean coast can they compete against the offers made in diving centers located in diving destinations such as Egypt, Mexico or Asia?
  • Culturally, the diving sector in France started with associative structures before the birth of commercial structures. Also, it is not uncommon to find in these professional dive centers certain “non profit” behaviours maybe based on an idea of ​​friendliness. Does this model still meet the benefits that divers are accustomed to in other less expensive parts of the world?


Une seiche photographiée au large des îles du Frioul


As an anecdote,

To prepare my last stay in Marseille, my partner contacted, as of February, several centers to book a week of diving in the middle of August. Only one took the trouble to answer him. Simple negligence or real agenda too busy? (And in this case, a negative answer is just a professional attitude). This is not customer oriented attitude and can cause a lot of pain and lost of money.
Even if you do not have time, reply !.
Next time the potential customer might come back and ask for an offer for a large group ?
You never know, sometimes, it is all about attitude.


Une nudibranche sur une roche

As a summary

Very clearly and even if I do not have the answer to all these questions, I wonder if it would not be interesting for the professionals of the sector of diving in France to meet and start a global reflection on the health of the sector. Sometimes is better to work together to find a solution instead of fighting. Fighting will rarely bring customers to your shop. Cooperation most of the time a winning solution. There is enough space for everyone.

The dives in the Mediterranean are really beautiful and it would be a shame to see the area suffocate.
It’s always a pleasure to dive around the Mediterranean sea, in France or in other country.


What are your experiences in the Mediterranean to diving sector in France ?


And most importantly, do not forget to be happy