The Andaman Islands are a preferred vacation spot for scuba diving lovers, with its coral reefs typically thought of extra stunning than these in Thailand. However, the trade is going through severe threats because of unregulated practices and an absence of enforcement of security requirements.
One of the foremost points going through the trade is the usage of unqualified and underqualified professionals. Many dive facilities are using inexperienced dive masters and instructors who lack the mandatory coaching and certification to deal with first-time divers. This places the protection of vacationers in danger and threatens the repute of the trade as a complete.
Another difficulty is the value warfare between dive facilities, which has led to undercutting and compromises on security requirements. Some facilities are providing low-cost costs by compromising on the time spent underwater, lowering the standard of apparatus and using unauthorised journey brokers. This has led to a scenario the place vacationers are paying excessive charges however are solely getting a short dive expertise, typically lasting not more than 5 to 10 minutes.
Furthermore, some dive facilities are providing hefty commissions of as much as 75% to unauthorised journey brokers, which is resulting in a scenario the place just a few dive facilities are capable of make a revenue. This is inflicting an absence of funding within the trade and stopping severe dive initiatives from gaining traction.
The capability difficulty can also be an issue, with Havelock Island being overcrowded because of low-cost costs provided by some dive facilities. Some of those facilities are violating the capability laws and never paying GST (Goods and Services Tax), resulting in an absence of accountability.
To tackle these points, the federal government must take strict motion in opposition to violators and help good initiatives in scuba diving. It is crucial to register all dive professionals, making it obligatory for unregistered professionals to not work within the tourism sector. Dive facilities that make use of unauthorised personnel ought to have their licenses cancelled.
The authorities might additionally take into account implementing capacity-based permissions for brand spanking new dive facilities, whereby the variety of facilities allowed relies on vacationer stream or lodge room occupancy. This would assist to minimise the value warfare and incentivise dive facilities to spend money on the trade.
Moreover, the minimal necessities for establishing a dive middle ought to embrace 50 tanks, a compressor with a minimal capability of 250 LPM, and dive masters being evaded any first-time exercise. International guidelines don’t enable dive masters to deal with first-time divers; therefore solely instructors or assistant instructors/strive dive instructors ought to present first-time diving. This would preserve the exercise as much as worldwide requirements and entice extra educated youths to the trade.
Public-private partnerships may be concerned in making a committee within the island for the betterment. This would be sure that all stakeholders, together with dive facilities, tourism boards, and authorities officers, work collectively to create a sustainable and protected scuba diving trade within the Andaman Islands.
In conclusion, the Andaman Islands’ scuba diving trade has nice potential, however it’s important to handle the problems of unregulated practices, security requirements, and capability administration. The authorities and stakeholders must take decisive motion to create a sustainable and thriving scuba diving trade within the Andaman Islands.