Undercurrent Readers are Ready to Go
Of the 1608 subscribers who responded to our survey, 98% considered themselves to be active divers. Of these, 97% have made more than 100 dives, with 65% having made more than 500 dives. The median age is about 62, with 55% older than 65 (only 10 respondents were under 40). In the past three years, 85% had made two or more overseas dive trips. We’re pleased that 93% say they will get vaccinated, 2% won’t, and 5% remain undecided. (Going through airports, flying, and traveling overseas without being vaccinated is a risk we wouldn’t take.)
Now, the good news for the dive industry: Of the 97% who will continue to make overseas dive trips, 90% of them expect to take a dive trip in the next 12 months (14% percent of these are risk-takers; they will travel even if not vaccinated). Of the remainder, 50% will go only after being vaccinated, 5% more will wait longer to be assured flights and airports are safe, and 11% more will wait until they are assured their host country is safe. Still, 81% percent plan to make as many or more trips than they did in the past.
Indeed, divers are a fearless bunch. USA Today reports that 54% of international travelers would be comfortable traveling six months after they are vaccinated. In combining our two surveys, we find that 88% of the responding active divers who travel internationally plan to travel as much as they did once they get their vaccinations. Still, some will delay their trips until they are assured that airports and flights are safe at their destination. For the vaccinated, there remains a small risk of infection (about 5% of the risk for those unvaccinated), and emerging new variants of the novel coronavirus might slow things down.
So, a significant number of traveling divers expect to be back on the road within the year, many making more than a single trip, which will give a real shot in the arm, shall we say, to the foreign dive centers that depend upon American dive travel.
And with that, let’s get vaccinated and go diving. And, to you dive operators out there. Hang on a little longer. We're coming back!
Ben Davison, editor/publisher