It doesn’t take an expert to figure out that the UK scuba diving industry will have to endure further financial pressures and logistical difficulties in the post Covid-19 era.
As a niche business serving a close-knit and very social community it is a daunting prospect to even begin to imagine what our post lockdown reality will look like, a reality where social distancing measures will still remain very much part of the rule book.
We are urged by the government not to expect a quick return to a pre Covid-19 daily routine but to plan for a “New Normal”.
We are also told that the virus is not going away any time soon and that we therefore need to come up with innovative strategies that will allow us to safely live and work with it still present.
Aquatron’s fifty years in the business have taught us to build strong foundations, not to overreach when times are good and to expect the unexpected, all practices that have served us well when riding out past storms.
However, Covid-19 is not just any old storm! It has already claimed a noteworthy casualty with ‘Simply Scuba’ going into administration the other day.
Although we consider ourselves a financially robust business, the uncertainty of the post Covid-19 future could potentially change that over the longer term. We may be one of Scotland’s largest dive stores and have been around for a lot longer than most but we are no different in that we, like everyone else, rely on the continuing support of our customers to survive.
We strongly believe that in order for the Scottish diving community to thrive on the other side of Covid-19 we collectively need to realise the true value of a strong symbiotic relationship between the local provider of goods and services and the local community, we feel that it is absolutely necessary for the ongoing success of both.
This could be the moment when we all decide to do things differently and buy less online and start buying more from local businesses that create jobs for local people.
We all know that it is in our interest to keep the bricks and mortar shops alive as you cannot buy air fills online but it is also pertinent to remember that many of them also provide important social hubs for the community and that most go far beyond just providing goods and services for their customers.
A lot of the individuals that own and work in these businesses are also our friends and dive buddies too.
We don’t want this blog to be construed as a cry for help but rather a hopeful call to action. We firmly believe that with a concerted effort we can all help Scotland’s scuba diving industry survive this pandemic.
This could also be our golden opportunity to lay aside any past differences, come together as a collective of divers, shops, clubs, schools, charter boats, travel providers and make our diving communities stronger and more united than ever before.
Who is up for it?